Van Persie comments on performance v Iceland and defends ex-Chelsea boss

Guus Hiddink

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie defended ex-Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink after the shock loss to Iceland.

Robin Van Persie, 31, was left to defend under fire Guus Hiddink after yet another defeat in charge of the Netherlands national side.

‘’I do not think it is fair to Guus Hiddink,’’ said Van Persie.

‘’Guus is a fantastic coachand we work all together very hard to improve in the future.’’

Hiddink, who won the FA Cup in 2009 with Chelsea, has had a really poor start to life as the Dutch national head coach, and the 2-0 loss to minnows Iceland put his credibility in doubt even further.

After the game, the Dutch manager joked: ‘’I am the devil then,’’ responding to the criticisms put before him.

‘’We must look at the state of affairs in Dutch football,’’ said Hiddink. ‘’I’m going to analyse in peace.

‘’Three or four boys from Iceland were occupied with Arjen Robben, but we did not take advantage. We did not move to the other side. Our game had a lack of pace to get people free.

‘’I’m not angry, but disappointed.’’

On the game, reflecting on matters now six points behind leaders Iceland and Czech Republic, the United striker echoed the statements of his manager, stating : ‘’Iceland lurked on our mistakes and we played them into the game. We were sloppy and not strong enough. There are no excuses.

‘’Today is painful and sad.’’

Iceland’s second goal, however, got a special mention from Van Persie who was clearly frustrated with how his team-mates defended the situation.

‘’We have talked a lot about corners and free-kicks,’’ explained the United number 20. ‘’Then the second goes in. This has to improve.

‘’In the end we were playing long balls and that did not work. We were in no way dangerous.’’

Holland, after such a strong World Cup, had been tipped to be among the favourites to win the European Championship in 2016 but have failed miserably to live up to their billing since stepping off the plane back from Brazil.

For many key players in the Dutch squad, like Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, it will realistically be their last, or second to last, chance to win a major international tournament. However, now they must claw back six points on both the group leaders, to even ensure they are in France when the competition starts in the summer of 2016.

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