Advocaat named Netherlands head coach for third time

Veteran coach Dick Advocaat has been charged with rescuing the Dutch national team's ailing 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
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Advocaat named as Netherlands head coach for third time

Dick Advocaat has been tasked with saving the Netherlands' World Cup qualification bid after being confirmed as head coach of the Dutch team on Tuesday.

Advocaat, 69, returns for a third stint in charge of the side, having previously managed the Oranje between 1992 and 1994 and from 2002 to 2004.

Advocaat replaces sacked Blind as Dutch boss

The veteran coach takes over from Danny Blind, who was sacked in late March after the Netherlands were beaten 2-0 away to Bulgaria.

That defeat in Sofia has left the three-time World Cup runners-up clinging to only the slimmest of hopes of reaching the 2018 finals in Russia.

They presently sit fourth in qualifying Group A, six points behind leaders France.

Advocaat, who is currently at Turkish club Fenerbahce, will be joined by former Netherlands star Ruud Gullit as assistant coach.

Arjen Robben looks dejected after the Netherlands' damaging 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria in March.

Van Breukelen: Advocaat appointment "short-term" strategy

It is "a short-term" strategy, admitted Dutch FA technical director Hans van Breukelen to reporters, adding it was "just to qualify for the World Cup".

The Dutch have endured a tough time in recent years, failing to qualify for Euro 2016 in France and now facing the prospect of a humiliating World Cup no-show.

The side's next qualifier is on 9 June against Luxembourg, with two friendlies - against Morocco on 31 May and the Ivory Coast on 4 June - up first.

Advocaat is under contract until 1 June with Fenerbahce, but should be allowed to join the Dutch for the friendly against Morocco, Van Breukelen said.