June 6, 2017 / 7:26 PM / 2 months ago

Advocaat says results not pretty football key for desperate Dutch

3 Min Read

Britain Football Soccer - Manchester United v Fenerbahce SK - UEFA Europa League Group Stage - Group A - Old Trafford, Manchester, England - 16/17 - 20/10/16 Fenerbahce coach Dick Advocaat Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat said on Tuesday that he was purely interested in gaining results rather than playing attractive football as the Dutch look to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.

Advocaat has returned for a third spell in charge of the Netherlands national team after replacing Danny Blind, who was sacked in March.

His first game in charge is on Friday when the Dutch take on Luxembourg in a Group A qualifier, needing victory to boost their flagging qualification chances.

“We are purely playing for results. The points are the most important,” Advocaat told a news conference.

“We will look at the situation match by match but the result is holiest.”

Blind lost his job following a 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria in their last qualifier in March as the Netherlands slipped to fourth place in the group, six points behind leaders France.

The Dutch, who failed to qualify for Euro 2016, have slumped on the international stage following their third-place finish at the last World Cup in Brazil three years ago.

Their dip in form has left many, including Advocaat, stumped.

“It is something I want to understand and get to the bottom of and fix before our important games against France and Bulgaria in the next months.

“Everything is focused on trying to get to the World Cup and we believe we can do that. There is the requisite quality in our squad.”

Advocaat had not been favourite for the Netherlands job, with the Dutch interviewing several candidates before settling on the 69-year-old.

“I think there were a pile of people who did not want to or could not take the job and it would have been logical to see someone else sitting here. But the job offer came to me and I find it a tremendous challenge.”

His assistant is former Netherlands captain Ruud Gullit. “An important task for Ruud will be with the players. I’m very happy that he’ll be helping me. With his experience … who doesn’t know him? I have a good feeling about it all,” Advocaat added.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis

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