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Nov 12, 2011

Hiddink: Blame me for defeat

Turkey coach Guus Hiddink has taken full responsibility after his side were humiliated 3-0 on home soil by Croatia in their Euro 2012 play-off.

Hiddink has previously revealed that he will walk away from the job is Turkey do not seal progress to the final tournament and, with that looking unlikely after a dismal first-leg performance, the Dutchman has admitted that he was at fault.

"I am responsible for the results. The players have to execute things properly, but I take full responsibility," Hiddink told NTV Spor. "I think second place in qualification behind Germany was a realistic expectation, but were confronted with a team with guys in big leagues who are very strong and very fast.

"It's not for nothing that these players play in the Premier League, in the Bundesliga - they have experience in tough competitions.

"If you come out in the first minute and badly organised and outplayed very easily, then it's already a difficult game. We gave them a favour of two counter attacks, which was the killer."

Looking ahead to Tuesday's return leg, Hiddink called upon his troops to restore some pride. "I think it's very important that the players play for their honour, for themselves, for their country, because let's face facts, it's difficult, almost impossible to qualify,'' he said.

"Some will get opportunities to play themselves into the team because some young, new player will knock on the door to play."

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