Ad­vo­caat set to start Dutch res­cue mis­sion

New Straits Times - - Sport -

THE HAGUE: Dick Ad­vo­caat will take up his role as the new Dutch coach next month, of­fi­cials said Tues­day, as he looks to sal­vage the coun­try’s fal­ter­ing 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign.

The 69-year-old is re­turn­ing for a third spell in charge of the Nether­lands, who are fourth in Group A ahead of the visit of min­nows Lux­em­bourg in just over a fort­night.

“Dick Ad­vo­caat will join the Dutch XI on Tues­day, June 6,” the Royal Dutch Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (KNVB) said in a state­ment.

“The team, who will be pre­par­ing for their

World Cup qual­i­fier against Lux­em­bourg will also be joined by as­sis­tant coach Ruud Gul­lit,” it added.

Ad­vo­caat and for­mer Bal­lon d’Or win­ner Gul­lit were drafted in on a “short-term” res­cue mis­sion by the Dutch fed­er­a­tion ear­lier this month, with the pair sign­ing con­tracts through un­til the end of the year.

Ad­vo­caat, a renowned dis­ci­plinar­ian, re­placed Danny Blind af­ter he was sacked in March fol­low­ing a 2-0 de­feat in Bul­garia. The shock de­feat left the three­time World Cup run­ners-up fac­ing the prospect of fail­ing to qual­ify for next year’s fi­nals in Rus­sia, hav­ing also missed out on Euro 2016.

The Dutch trail group lead­ers France by six points af­ter five matches, with only the top team guar­an­teed a place in Rus­sia.

Swe­den and Bul­garia are also ahead of the Nether­lands in the race for sec­ond place and a pos­si­ble play­off berth.

How­ever Ad­vo­caat will not be in the dugout for friendlies against Morocco and the Ivory Coast, on May 31 and June 4, as he is fin­ish­ing the sea­son with Turk­ish club Fener­bahce. AFP

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