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Advocaat to start Dutch rescue mission in June

The Hague (AFP) – 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, which 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 three-time 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 play-off 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.

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