O'Neill confident of getting Hiddink - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Neill confident of getting Hiddink

By Philip Henderson and Guy Hand 19/07/2005 10:23:27 PM Comments (0)

Football Federation Australia chief executive John O'Neill says he is "99 per cent" sure Guus Hiddink will be announced as the Socceroos coach within the next few days.

Hiddink has been widely touted as the successor to Frank Farina as Australian coach for the past week, with O'Neill virtually confirming his signature on Tuesday night.

"The ink is not dry on the paper, it's very close," O'Neill told Fox Sports.

"It's a matter of days, not weeks. Guus at the moment is in Korea coaching PSV Eindhoven in the Peace Cup, but we expect once his duties there are over we'll have his undivided attention.

"It will be a great coup if we get him. I'm 99 per cent sure we will. If we get Hiddink, it's the right move for football in this country."

O'Neill said the announcement would be made by the end of next week at the latest but with PSV Eindhoven playing its final pool game in the Peace Cup on Wednesday, it would probably come sooner.

"He wants us as much as we want him, which is a nice way to start a relationship," O'Neill said.

If appointed, the 58-year-old would take on the role of Australian coach initially until November, when the Socceroos are expected to play against the fifth-placed South American side for a berth in the 2006 World Cup finals.

Australia is expected to confirm its place for that playoff in September when it takes on the Solomon Islands.

The first match of that two-leg series on September 3 will mark the new coach's debut for the Socceroos, following the FFA's decision on Tuesday to ditch its only confirmed lead-up match in favour of a training camp next month.

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