PHOTO: United midfielder Daley Blind cracks a smile from Guus Hiddink

Guus Hiddink

Daley Blind appeared to crack a smile from Guus Hiddink in Dutch training - will they be smiling after the international break.

The performance of The Netherlands at this summer's World Cup certainly caught a few by surprise. While they obviously had plenty of talent in the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben - a lot of their team were unknown and unproven outside of the Dutch Eredivisie.

But now Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal guided them to the semi-finals, where only a penalty shoot-out defeat prevented them from a final against arch-rivals Germany.

But it was a performance highly thought of back home in The Netherlands, especially after their woeful European Championship campaign two years previously.

The performances of Van Gaal also caught the eye of Manchester United, who appointed him the replacement for David Moyes this summer. In turn Van Gaal soon brought one of the best performers of that team with him to the club, with the £13.8 million signing of Daley Blind.

Now Blind is a mainstay in the new-look Van Gaal United and still a major part of the Netherlands first-team under his successor to his club team boss, former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.

Times have been tough for the Dutch since the World Cup. They have suffered defeats to Italy, Czech Republic and Iceland since they got back from Brazil. A solitary win against Kazakhstan was also unconvincing, Holland going 1-0 down until a goal and red card guided them back into the game after the hour mark.

With a friendly against Mexico and a qualifier against Latvia coming up it will certainly be interesting to see how they get on.

But at least Blind appears to be getting on with his new boss Hiddink.

The pair appeared smiling and joking in Dutch training this week ahead of two crunch ties for Hiddink. Blind then does not appear to be missing Van Gaal on the international stage, but he will need to replicate his form for LvG under the guardianship of Hiddink if the Dutch are to overcome their latest slump.

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