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Nov 16, 2011

Hiddink expects to leave Turkey post

Guus Hiddink has confirmed that he does not expect to continue as Turkey coach after failing to guide the country to next summer's European Championship finals.

• Euro 2012 play-off review

Hiddink, 65, watched on as his side held Croatia to a 0-0 draw in Zagreb in their Euro 2012 play-off on Tuesday night, but the damage was already done after Turkey crashed to an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat in the first leg.

It is the Dutchman's second successive qualification failure after missing out on the 2010 World Cup with Russia; he had previously boasted a 100% record having guided Netherlands to Euro '96 and World Cup '98, Australia to the 2006 World Cup and Russia to Euro 2008.

Turkish television station NTVSpor is reporting that Hiddink said his final goodbyes to his players after Tuesday's game and the former Real Madrid manager admitted in his post-match interview that his departure was likely.

"This could be my last game as Turkey's coach," Hiddink said. "I am happy about young players' performances. Euro 2012 could have been a great experience for them ... I don't have any regrets about my Turkey experience.

"I worked for future of Turkey but I think this is my last match with this team - there is a high probability of that."

Hiddink ruled out the possibility of retiring, revealing that he plans to "take some time off" before taking up a new challenge, but claimed that the chance to move out of the managerial spotlight is an attractive prospect for him.

"I'm not ready to retire," Hiddink said. "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."

And the man who guided Chelsea to the 2009 FA Cup while in caretaker charge stated that he could be interested in a return to England.

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

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