Tactics not the problem: Hiddink

2014-09-10 12:59
Guus Hiddink (File)

Prague - An angry Guus Hiddink said the Dutch need to learn a lesson from the last-minute loss to the Czech Republic in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier during which the coach surprisingly stuck to a formation unpopular with his team.

The Czech Republic snatched a dramatic 2-1 win over the Netherlands thanks to Vaclav Pilar's added-time goal after a dreadful mistake from Daryl Janmaat in their opening Group A match in Prague on Tuesday.

"In the final seconds of a match you should never ever lose," Hiddink said, referring to Janmaat's header back to Jasper Cillessen that beat the Dutch custodian and rebounded off the post to Pilar who tucked the rebound into the net.

"We were able to just walk out of here with a 1-1 draw. We gave it away so stupidly. When I talk about it now I get extremely angry again."

In his second stint as Dutch coach, Hiddink elected to start with a more defensive system favorued by his predeccesor Louis van Gaal who guided the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the World Cup in Brazil.

The 3-5-2 system was ineffective, however, as the Czechs soaked up Dutch pressure and attacked on the break. The strategy paid off in the 22nd minute when Borek Dockal one-timed a thunderous left-footed shot from just outside the box into the net to give the home side a deserved lead.

Making his decision more surprising was Hiddink's recent admission that a number of his senior players asked to revert back to the more familiar 4-3-3 system despite a successful World Cup run under van Gaal, who stepped down to take charge of Manchester United.

Hiddink blamed individual mistakes rather than the formation but it was clear the Dutch side were transformed after making changes five minutes before the half and notching the equalizer in the 55th minute on a Stefan de Vrij header.

"After the first goal we reorganised our formation to 4-3-3, but at the end it was a really unlucky defeat for us," Hiddink said. "It is very difficult to consider your tactical formation if your defenders make such mistakes."

Hiddink, the first Dutch national manager to lose his first two games since his previous reign in 1995, had to do without a number of key players, including Arjen Robben whose absence allowed the Czechs far more space on the wings.

The Dutch coach will have plenty of time to rethink his tactics ahead of the side's next Euro qualifier when Holland face Kazakhstan on October 10 in Netherlands.

"We can learn our lessons, some of our players played well," Hiddink said. "Now we must discuss our performance and analyse our position in the group."

Read more on:    netherlands  |  euro 2016  |  guus hiddink  |  soccer

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