Netherlands sack manager Danny Blind after Bulgaria defeat

Blind had been under increasing pressure, with the Netherlands facing the real possibility of failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2018 after also missing out on the European Championships.

After finishing third at the 2014 World Cup under Louis van Gaal, the Dutch missed out on Euro 2016 and now find themselves in fourth place midway through their campaign to reach Russian Federation, six points off the lead in Group A and three back of a potential playoff spot. "Things have to change".

Blind took a massive risk by starting 17-year-old centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, but it proved a step too far, as he was hauled off at half-time following some costly errors.

And De Ligt was culpable for Bulgaria's fifth-minute opener, his failure to deal with a long ball capitalised on by Spas Delev for his first Bulgaria goal. "I must now think about it and my employer will be doing the same", Blind said. I do not throw the towel in. I am incredibly disappointed. I must now look at myself in the mirror.

The national squad's captain, speaking to NOS via Four Four Two, gave a bewildered assessment of his team's "deplorable" first half showing, which allowed their opponents to secure a vital three points in the Group A fixture.

It said Blind's squad was hit by injuries to key defenders with Virgil van Dijk, Jeffrey Bruma and Stefan de Vrij out of contention, leaving the coach with "a puzzle" to find replacements.

"We came here with good intentions and before the game I was positive". "We can point fingers but that does not make sense". We lost here, and those are the hard facts. Netherlands have powerful stars in the team which helps them to win the game in an easy way.



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