Blind thinking about future after accepting blame for Bulgaria blow

Fred Grim, the Netherlands Under-21 coach, will take charge of the senior team for Tuesday's friendly with Italy in Amsterdam as the KNVB begin the search for a new permanent boss.

Blind took over as coach from Guus Hiddink in a bid to resuscitate the Dutch qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championships in France but a shock home defeat to Iceland in his first match in charge quickly ended any possibility of a revival. "But because the sporting results are unfortunately disappointing, and now the progress to the World Cup is also hard, we unfortunately feel forced to take leave of him".

"For the profile we're looking for, we have a technical director, but we will also look for many other experts", the Dutch football association's (KNVB) commercial director Jean Paul Decossaux told De Telegraaf. Only the group victor secures an automatic World Cup spot.

Who'll replace Blind? Louis van Gaal, who took the Dutch just three years ago at the World Cup in Brazil, is available.

Netherlands' coach Danny Blind looks at his watch during their World Cup Group A qualifying soccer match against Bulgaria, at the Vassil Levski stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria, Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Bulgaria visit Belarus on June 9 in their next game in the group while Netherlands host bottom team Luxembourg.

"We must be honest and say that getting to Russian Federation is now going to be a lot more hard", admitted a candid Blind in the wake of the 2-0 defeat in Sofia on Saturday that ultimately ended his reign.

Matthijs de Ligt, a 17-year-old with just 13 appearances in Ajax's first team, will make his Netherlands debut as a starter in the center of the Oranje defense.

Despite an improved post-interval performance, Netherlands could not conjure a way back into the contest and after their failure to qualify for Euro 2016, their hopes of reaching Russian Federation next year seem slim with Blind's side now fourth in the group, three points adrift of second-placed Sweden and six behind leaders France. The Dutch find themselves fourth in their qualifying group at the halfway stage. Only the top team from each group qualifies automatically.

  • Zachary Reyes