Hiddink eyes more Netherlands progress

Guus Hiddink is eager to ensure the Netherlands build on an impressive World Cup campaign in his second tenure as coach of his country.

The vastly experienced 67-year-old has been charged with the task of replacing Louis van Gaal, who stepped down after the recent World Cup in Brazil and has taken over as Manchester United manager.

Hiddink previously took charge of the Netherlands between 1994 and 1998 and it was confirmed in March that he would return for a second spell with the national team.

He takes over a team that finished third in Brazil after beating the hosts in a third-place play-off, having lost to Argentina on penalties in the semi-finals, and is determined to take the Netherlands to another level as they prepare for qualification for the 2016 European Championship in France.

Speaking at a press conference in which he was presented as Van Gaal’s successor, Hiddink said: “I should like to hand out kudos to the team that was in action at the World Cup in Brazil. They have performed very well.

“The more so because the expectations in advance in the Netherlands were rather bleak. (The) approach (in Brazil) was realistic and there are very good results with it. But there is always room for improvement.”

Wily tactician Hiddink will be assisted by Danny Blind, who will take over as coach in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

And the new coach revealed that the duo’s enthusiasm increased his motivation to take on his role.

“I took a few conversations with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Danny Blind and they gave me the impetus to be used for this challenge.” Hiddink said.

Hiddink believes the coaching set-up has the right blend of youth and experience to be a recipe for success.

“I can learn from them. As (an) old boss I’ve always been a proponent to train trainers. Former professionals, someone like Van Nistelrooy would not immediately be in the full limelight, but (I) would like to bring young boys on a higher level.”

Palace snap up free agent Hangeland

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of centre-back Brede Hangeland on a free transfer.

The Norway international was a free agent after leaving Fulham at the end of last season following the expiry of his contract.

Palace have subsequently swooped for the experienced 33-year-old and Hangeland is thrilled to have put pen to paper on a one-year contract.

“I’m delighted to be here. I look forward to helping out and doing the best I can for this club,” he told the club’s official website.

“I’m quite old school as a player, I just want to be part of a good group of players, working for a good manager, working really hard and driving something in the right direction.

“All the people I spoke to told me that’s what’s going on at Crystal Palace and I really wanted to be a part of that.

“It’s a traditional club with a big following. I thought the atmosphere here was fantastic and obviously the fans had a lot to be happy about come the end of the season.

“If we can do something similar to that this season, that would be great. I’m really looking forward to playing in front of those fans as soon as possible.”

Davies competition can help me improve, insists Rose

Tottenham’s Danny Rose believes the signing of fellow full-back Ben Davies can help him develop as a footballer.

Rose penned a new five-year deal at White Hart Lane on Thursday, extending his stay at White Hart Lane to 2019.

The 24-year-old made 22 Premier League appearances last season, despite missing part of the campaign with a foot injury.

New head coach Mauricio Pochettino has ensured there will be competition for a left-back berth at the north London club by bringing in Davies from Swansea City last month.

Yet rather than be deterred by the Welshman’s arrival, Rose is relishing the competition.

“I’m over the moon to sign my new contract,” Rose told the club’s official website. “I’m glad it’s been sorted and now I can focus on the start of the season.

“Working under Mauricio has been brilliant. It’s been a hard couple of weeks, but we’ve just got back from North America where we went through our first three games unbeaten, so we’re all happy and everyone has a good understanding of what the manager wants to implement.

“We’ve brought in Ben Davies now and I’m hoping he can improve me, and likewise I’m hoping I can help him settle in and help him improve his game as well.

“There are two or three good players in each position at the club and we’re all excited for the start of the season.”

Rose is hoping he and Tottenham can both show a higher level of consistency in the new season.

He added: “This season, first and foremost, I want to stay injury-free. I had a small, annoying injury at the start of last season that kept me out for a while and when I came back I was a bit inconsistent with my performances so I’m determined to improve on that this time.

“From a club point of view I hope we can be a bit more consistent as well because we lost to and drew with teams that we feel we should be beating last season, so while this season will be a difficult one, we’re all looking forward to it.”

Fenerbahce Supremo Pours Cold Water On Reports Linking Emenike With


Going by the words of Fenerbahce President, Aziz Yıldırım, reports linking Emmanuel Emenike with a plethora of teams in England and Juventus in Italy are paper – talk.

The leadership of the Yellow Canaries has stated that the club have not received any bid from interested suitors that are hoping to acquire the Nigeria international.

“Emenike nor another player’s departure from the club is not in question. We have not received a formal letter for any player. Please let’s be more careful in this regard,” Aziz Yıldırım told reporters.

A move to Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea has been mooted this summer, with the Londoners said to be leading the race for the 27 – year – old’s signature.

The Super Eagles forward still has a deal with Fenerbahce till the summer of 2017.