4 September 2014 23:50
Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink bemoaned his side’s disastrous start in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Italy on Thursday.
Ciro Immobile put the hosts in front in the third minute, before Daniele De Rossi doubled the advantage from the spot seven minutes later after Bruno Martins Indi had been dismissed for a bringing down Simone Zaza in the penalty area.
The returning Hiddink’s experience – he previously managed the Netherlands from 1994 to 1998 – was in contrast to opposite number Antonio Conte, who enjoyed a positive start to his tenure as Italy coach.
And Hiddink laid the blame solely at the door of his players’ performance in the early stages.
“The evening was already over after eight minutes,” he told SBS. “During the opening stages, we were naive in our defending.
“Afterwards it was nothing more than limiting the damage.
“We were so easily overrun and that should not be the case. You cannot start a match so badly.”
The Netherlands begin their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in the Czech Republic on Tuesday.