Netherlands sack boss Danny Blind


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Danny Blind has been sacked as head coach of the Netherlands after their World Cup qualifying loss to Bulgaria.

A first-half double from Spas Delev condemned the Dutch to a 2-0 loss in Saturday’s Group A encounter.

Blind’s side has managed to beat only Belarus and Luxembourg so far in five games, with a defeat to France and a draw with Sweden also having preceded their setback in Bulgaria.

The Dutch FA said recent results left the team “with difficulty qualifying for the World Cup in Russia”.

Fred Grim will take charge as interim coach when the Netherlands face Italy on Tuesday in a friendly. Blind, 55, took over as coach from Guus Hiddink in 2015.

The previous summer Louis van Gaal had led his country to the World Cup semi-finals in Brazil but it has been a troubled time ever since.

Blind was not able to secure a spot at Euro 2016 last summer and, with Russia now looking doubtful, the axe has fallen on the former Ajax defender.

France lead the way in Group A on 13 points having seen off Luxembourg over the weekend.

Sweden are occupying second spot on 10 points while Bulgaria’s win saw them leapfrog the Dutch and move onto nine points.

The Netherlands tally of seven points from five games leaves them in grave danger of missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 2002 and for just the second time since 1990.

Netherlands are 34.00 to win the 2018 World Cup while France are 8.00 and European champions Portugal are 26.00.

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