Euro 2012 Qualifying

Hiddink leaves Turkey post

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The contract of Turkey coach Guus Hiddink has been terminated by mutual consent following the national team's failure to reach next summer's European Championships, the Turkish Football Federation have announced.

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A 3-0 aggregate defeat to Croatia in the Euro 2012 play-offs brought an end to Turkey's hopes of reaching the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

A statement on the official TFF website read: "Following the meeting between Turkish Football Federation Executive Committee and Turkey head coach Guus Hiddink, the Dutch coach's contract has been terminated by mutual consent.

"We would like to thank Mr Guus Hiddink for his services during his working period, and wish him all the best in his future career."

Hiddink has already this week dismissed a link with Ajax as sporting director, but a return to Chelsea in a similar capacity has also been mooted.

"I've not made up my mind about the future yet," Hiddink said.

"I'm going to take some time off and then we will see what happens, but I had a wonderful time in England. It was great at Chelsea, a terrific time, but that doesn't mean I am ready to start tomorrow. I need some time to reflect.

"I'm not ready to retire, I like to be involved with a team on a daily basis, but maybe I am ready to step out of the limelight a little bit, away from the cameras.

"Hopefully I will still be involved but perhaps it will be as an adviser or a consultant."

Hiddink, who has also managed Holland, South Korea, Australia and Russia at international level, took charge of the Turkish national team in August last year and leaves the post after just 15 months.

His contract was due to run until next summer, although it was widely expected the 65-year-old would move on before that time if Turkey were unsuccessful in the qualification campaign.

Turkey were thrashed 3-0 in the first leg of their qualifying play-off in Istanbul last week before Croatia finished the job with a goalless draw in Zagreb last night.

Hiddink has already been linked with a possible return to English football after a successful spell as caretaker manager of Chelsea in 2009, when he guided the club to victory in the FA Cup final.

Hiddink admitted at the final whistle last night that the match was likely to be his last at the helm, while Turkish media later reported the Dutchman did not return to Istanbul with the rest of the squad.

Speaking after the match, Hiddink hit out at the structures in place in Turkish football, insisting that the present system was affecting the national team's chances.

"All national teams representing a country, starting with the under-14 side up to the senior level, depend on how the clubs are organised and how seriously they take the education of young players from the age of 10," Hiddink said in quotes reported by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman.

"In countries like Germany and Holland, this system is highly developed and the results are obvious.

"On the other hand, only one or two players from Turkey's Under-19 and Under-21 sides have come through to senior level and while in those countries it's a reliable process, in Turkey it's an exception.

"Turkey has a lot of potential but will only take part in big tournaments more frequently if the system is organised in a better way, because the foundation must lie in the clubs and be 100% efficient."

Hiddink leaves his post having won just seven of 17 games in charge of Turkey, with five draws and five defeats.

Three of those losses came in Euro 2012 qualifying, as Turkey finished a distant second to Germany in Group A, just two points ahead of third-placed Belgium.
 

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