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Dublin: 5°C Friday 25 September 2020

Dick Advocaat appointed Netherlands coach for third time to save World Cup hopes

He will be assisted by Ruud Gullit.

Advocaat most recently was manager of Fenerbahce.
Advocaat most recently was manager of Fenerbahce.
Image: Depo Photos/ABACA

DICK ADVOCAAT, THE former Rangers and Sunderland manager, has been appointed Netherlands coach for the third time, taking over from Danny Blind who was sacked after a disastrous reign.

Advocaat, who turns 70 in September, will become the country’s oldest national team coach and will be assisted by Ruud Gullit as they look to revive Netherlands’ fortunes.

Despite announcing he would retire at the end of this season, Advocaat leaves his role with Fenerbahce to assume the position with the Dutch FA.

He has been appointed until the end of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and his deal will be extended should Netherlands reach Russia.

It was “a short term” strategy, admitted KNVB federation’s technical director Hans van Breukelen to reporters, adding it was “just to qualify for the World Cup”.

Advocaat’s predecessor, Blind, was sacked in March after failing to guide the Oranje to Euro 2016 and overseeing a difficult start to their World Cup qualifying campaign having suffered two defeats in their opening five games.

The Netherlands, three-time World Cup runners-up, have endured a tough time in recent years, and now face the prospect of missing out qualifying for Russia.

The defeat to Bulgaria last time out left the side fourth in qualifying group A, trailing six points behind leaders France.

The Dutch team’s next qualifying match is on 9 June against Luxembourg but they play friendlies against Morocco and Ivory Coast before then.

Advocaat, who has coached all over the world at both club and international level including spells with South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia, has had two previous stints as Netherlands coach and three as assistant boss.

He guided Netherlands to the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup and the semi-final stage at Euro 2004.

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Ryan Bailey

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