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Blind talks down Depay, Van Persie row claims

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Oct 2015

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Netherlands coach Danny Blind his dismissed suggestions Robin van Persie was benched for the Euro 2016 qualification win over Kazakhstan on Saturday due to a row with Memphis Depay.

Reports suggested the Fenerbahce striker was involved in an incident with the Manchester United winger ahead of the game and alleged he was left out of the starting XI as a consequence.

Blind though has downplayed the significance of the row between the attackers, insisting Van Persie started from the bench due to a lack of fitness.

“We have discussed what happened, but that had nothing to do with my decision,” Blind told a press conference ahead of the final qualifier against Czech Republic on Tuesday.

“I felt that he was not fit enough to start. I think that’s down to the fact that he has not played without pain for quite a while.

“He is pain free now and feels 100 per cent. But I want him to be fit enough to play the full 90 minutes. That’s why I did not play him as support striker against Kazakhstan.

“He is fit enough for the match against Czech Republic, but I will have to make choices.”

Van Persie came off the bench in the closing stages of the 2-1 win over Kazakhstan to earn his 100th cap, with some pundits suggesting his substitute cameo was a farewell gesture as Blind prepares to jettison the Fenerbahce forward.

“That is absolute nonsense,” the head coach said.

“We had agreed that I would get him on if we needed a goal, but I also thought it was only logical to give him his 100th cap because the game was already decided.

“I had to wait for my third substitution for a bit, though. I talked about that with Robin and he understood me. I find it baffling that people don’t get that.”

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