Football

Oranje turning sour again

Holland on the brink of missing out on another major Finals, as coach Blind considers quitting

Holland coach Danny Blind said he will reconsider his future after a 2-0 defeat by hosts Bulgaria yesterday morning (Singapore time) left them facing an uphill battle to qualify for next year's World Cup Finals in Russia.

The loss saw the Dutch drop to fourth place in Group A, six points behind leaders France, with five qualifying rounds left.

Only the group winners are assured of a spot in the Finals.

"The blame is on me. I must now think about it and my employer will be doing the same," Blind said.

"I've worked long enough in football to understand how it works. I must now look at myself in the mirror. It can't carry on like this."

Blind took over from Guus Hiddink in a bid to resuscitate the Oranje's qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 but a shock home loss to Iceland in his first match in charge quickly dashed any hopes of a revival.

Blind has won seven and lost seven in his 17 games in charge.

"I must be truthful to myself and to the KNVB (the Dutch football association)," he said.

"I must be convinced that I can get things right, but we must also be honest and say that getting to Russia is going to be a lot more difficult. I must think now whether I'm still capable of doing the job."

The Oranje's display left a sour taste for Holland captain Arjen Robben.

"We came here with good intentions, but it has become a nightmare," said the 33-year-old. "We win together and we lose together. Now we'll get s*** all over us. I'm speechless. The first half was shocking."

"I must think now whether I'm still capable of doing the job."Holland coach Danny Blind

Blind was heavily criticised for handing 17-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt a starting berth after just a few matches for Ajax Amsterdam.

De Ligt, Holland's youngest debutant since 1931, made a mistake which led to a fifth-minute goal for Spas Delev, who scored again 15 minutes later.

"In hindsight, it was too early to put him in the team," Blind said. "It did not work out with Matthijs as we hoped it would and that's my responsibility. But he will become a great defender.

"But the big players also did not bring to the game what we expected from them."

The Dutch next meet Italy in a friendly in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning (Singapore time). - WIRE SERVICES


OTHER GROUP A RESULTS

  • Luxembourg 1 France 3
  • Sweden 4 Belarus 0
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