Hiddink: I don't fear for my job

The Dutch coach is under pressure after a poor start to the country’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign but he says that he is still “having a lot of fun”

Guus Hiddink does not believe that the Netherlands football association (KNVB) are considering firing him as national team boss.

The Dutch finished third at last year’s World Cup in Brazil but they have struggled since Hiddink replaced Louis van Gaal as coach, with Oranje currently sitting third in Euro 2016 qualifying Group A after two losses, in Czech Republic and Iceland, from their first five games.

There has been a report that the KNVB are considering sacking their 68-year-old trainer, but Hiddink feels that his job is safe. 

“The author of the article is present [in the press room] so you should ask him,” the former Real Madrid boss told reporters on Monday.

“Journalists are always protecting their source, but they do want to know everything. 

“I don’t have the feeling that they want to sack me and I still have a lot of fun in my job. There is nothing going on.”

It has also been alleged that Hiddink has lost the Dutch dressing room, but he does not think that his players have lost faith in him.

“I don’t know if the trust of the players is fragile,” he said. “Of course, players are making mistakes, but I don’t know if that has something to do with trust. 

“We didn’t play scared [against Turkey]. We were well organised. I didn’t see any players with trembling legs.”

Hiddink did admit, though, that Netherlands are struggling without Arjen Robben, conceding that losing the Bayern Munich winger to an abdominal muscle injury ahead of last weekend’s crucial qualifier with Turkey was a hammer blow, with Oranje needing an injury-time equaliser from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar just to salvage a point in Amsterdam.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s friendly clash with Spain, Hiddink admitted that the Dutch are not the same side without Robben as replacement Ibrahim Afellay is not in the same class.

“If certain players are absent, you must fill in your team in an other way,” he stated

“Afellay is a different type of player to Robben. With all respect, Afellay is not one of the best players in the world; Robben is.”

Meanwhile, Hiddink confirmed that he was unwilling to take any chances with the fitness of midfielder Jordy Clasie.

“He left us because of irritation around his knee,” he added. “That’s why we’ve decided to sent him home. 

“Otherwise he would have played against Spain.”