No excuses if we fail, says new Serbia coach Advocaat
28 July 2014, 21:46
Belgrade - Serbia has top quality players and there will be no excuse for failure to qualify for the 2016 European Championship in France, new coach Dick Advocaat said on Monday.
"I found Serbia's offer interesting because of the squad's talent and quality," the 66-year-old Dutchman told a news conference.
Advocaat has been a given a two-year deal by the Serbian FA (FSS) and succeeds caretaker Ljubinko Drulovic.
"There is plenty of individual talent in this generation which has still not qualified for a major tournament and that's what we have to change."
Serbia failed to qualify for Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"We have only one target and that is to qualify, so there will be no excuses if we fail. It's a challenge for all of us and my job is to make sure that the team performs to the best of its abilities."
Advocaat has extensive experience coaching clubs and countries, including his native Netherlands twice, Belgium, South Korea and Russia.
He won the 1999 domestic treble in Scotland with Rangers as well as the 2007 Russian Premier League and the 2008 UEFA Cup with Zenit St Petersburg.
"I had decided to quit club football so I was principally available only to national teams," said Advocaat, adding that he would try to instil into Serbia the Dutch philosophy of attacking football and keeping possession.
The Serbians are in qualifying group I alongside Portugal, Denmark, Armenia and Albania and Advocaat acknowledged his inconsistent outfit, lacking experience at the highest level, would have to work hard to qualify.
"There are no easy teams and games against the likes of Armenia and Albania are the ones we have to approach with caution and win because any talk about Portugal's and Denmark's quality would be superfluous," he said.
Serbia start their campaign away to Armenia on Oct. 11 followed by a home clash with Albania three days later.