1 August 2014 14:29
Guus Hiddink is eager to ensure the Netherlands build on an impressive World Cup campaign in his second tenure as coach of his country.
The vastly experienced 67-year-old has been charged with the task of replacing Louis van Gaal, who stepped down after the recent World Cup in Brazil and has taken over as Manchester United manager.
Hiddink previously took charge of the Netherlands between 1994 and 1998 and it was confirmed in March that he would return for a second spell with the national team.
He takes over a team that finished third in Brazil after beating the hosts in a third-place play-off, having lost to Argentina on penalties in the semi-finals, and is determined to take the Netherlands to another level as they prepare for qualification for the 2016 European Championship in France.
Speaking at a press conference in which he was presented as Van Gaal’s successor, Hiddink said: “I should like to hand out kudos to the team that was in action at the World Cup in Brazil. They have performed very well.
“The more so because the expectations in advance in the Netherlands were rather bleak. (The) approach (in Brazil) was realistic and there are very good results with it. But there is always room for improvement.”
Wily tactician Hiddink will be assisted by Danny Blind, who will take over as coach in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
And the new coach revealed that the duo’s enthusiasm increased his motivation to take on his role.
“I took a few conversations with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Danny Blind and they gave me the impetus to be used for this challenge.” Hiddink said.
Hiddink believes the coaching set-up has the right blend of youth and experience to be a recipe for success.
“I can learn from them. As (an) old boss I’ve always been a proponent to train trainers. Former professionals, someone like Van Nistelrooy would not immediately be in the full limelight, but (I) would like to bring young boys on a higher level.”