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Robin Van Persie backs Guus Hiddink after Netherlands' loss to Iceland

Striker Robin van Persie backed Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink on Monday after his side fell to a surprise 2-0 defeat in Iceland.

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The loss -- the Netherlands' first ever to Iceland -- was Hiddink's third in four matches since taking over the team from Louis van Gaal following the World Cup.

"It really is painful that we lost here," captain Van Persie said after the match.

But the stiker -- who still plays under Van Gaal at Manchester United -- refused to place the blame Hiddink.

"Guus is a fantastic coach," Van Persie said. "We are all working as hard as we can to play well."

Guus Hiddink has lost three of his first four matches since taking over from Louis van Gaal.

On Monday, the Dutch were playing from behind all day as Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice before the break.

"We put them in the saddle by giving them two goals," said winger Arjen Robben.

After a third-place finish at the World Cup, the Netherlands now sit in third place in Group A through three games, and they trail perfect Iceland and Czech Republic by six points.

Hiddink, however, said it was too early to panic about their prospects of qualifying for France in 2016.

"We have to keep our emotions in check and take a careful look at the state of Dutch football and then talk about how to progress," Hiddink said.

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