Blind hails 'exceptional' Netherlands youngsters

The Oranje defender enthused about the quality of the young players in the Dutch squad and admits he hopes the group can “stick together” in future

Daley Blind has praised the calibre of Netherlands’ youngsters and hopes they can continue to develop under incoming boss Guus Hiddink.

Goals from Robin van Persie, Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum saw Netherlands dispose of Brazil 3-0 in their World Cup third-place playoff in Brasilia, a result that heaped further misery on the besieged host nation.

Saturday’s performance capped a memorable tournament for the Dutch, who boasted 10 players under the age of 25 in their 23-man squad, and Blind is hopeful that progress can continue now Hiddink will replace Manchester United-bound Louis van Gaal.

“The young players we have are exceptional,” the 24-year-old told

“They are really good. If somebody stops playing, then somebody else stands up and I think it’s always going to be like that. We’ll have to see what’s in the future but I hope we stick together.

“I think the positive thing is that we play as a group; we play as a team, every game.

“Whether we win and lose, we stick together. That’s the power and strength of our group.”

The Ajax man was also delighted to score his first international goal, firing the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards out in the 16th minute of Saturday’s clash.

“I took one touch and thought, ‘Just shoot!’,’ he said. “It felt really good.”

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