Dutch lose Blind faith as they crash again in Russian Federation 2018 qualifying

The 2-0 defeat - their second in qualifying in just five games - saw them leapfrogged by their opponents and leaves them well adrift of Group A leaders France and Sweden.

"We came here with good intentions and before the game I was positive". Their next World Cup qualifier is at home to neighbours Luxembourg on June 9.

Blind's assistant, Fred Grim, will temporarily replace him when the Netherlands plays Italy in a friendly on Tuesday in Amsterdam.

With injuries to regular defensive choices Virgil van Dijk, Jeffrey Bruma and Stefan de Vrij, Blind selected 17-year-old Ajax prospect Matthijs de Ligt for his debut at centre-back alongside Bruno Martins Indi.

The Russian World Cup is likely to be the last for the talented midfielders who took the Netherlands to a final against Spain.

Holland need a burst of optimism after a awful run of results that sees them at risk of missing out on the World Cup in Russian Federation - they are fourth in Group A in qualification.

"We were on the right track but the Bulgaria loss was a setback".

He is likely to be looking for a response after the team lost to Bulgaria to leave their World Cup hopes in tatters.

Bulgaria Starting Lineup: Mihaylov; S.Popov, Chorbadzhiyski, Bozhikov, Zanev; Slavchev; Manolev, Kostadinov, I.Popov, Tonev; Delev. Bulgaria will take more precautions in the first half and count on Tonev to score goals.

But after failing to bring the Netherlands to Euro 2016 and struggling in qualification to next year's World Cup, Danny Blind has been relieved of his duties.

Netherlands Starting Lineup: Zoet; Karsdorp, De Ligt, Martins Indi, Blind; Strootman, Wijnaldum; Promes, Klaassen, Robben; Dost. Our list of candidates can be made up of whoever is going to take Dutch football forwards.

"If I have to now judge it, it was too early to put him in the team", Blind added.

Now out of work, Van Gaal has been suggested for a return in a technical director role to work alongside an upcoming coach, such as Everton's Ronald Koeman.

  • Julie Sanders