Handbags break out between Hiddink & Advocaat

BELEK, Turkey - Russia manager Guus Hiddink has hit back at Zenit St Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat for complaining about his club's players being called up for a national team training camp.

Advocaat lashed out at his fellow Dutchman last month for naming six Zenit players for the February 8-11 camp in Turkey, saying it would interfere with preparations for this month's UEFA Cup last-32 tie with VfB Stuttgart.

Hiddink, however, saw it differently.

"We had a very successful camp here last year, using it as part of preparations for Euro 2008, so we decided to do it again," he told Reuters in an interview at this Mediterranean resort.

"All the (club) coaches have known about it in advance as we planned it way back in November.

"He (Advocaat) was also a national team coach so he should know it's always a give-and-take situation. You can never have it your own way, you must always find a compromise."

Advocaat coached Netherlands before succeeding Hiddink at South Korea.

Most of the coaches from the leading Russian clubs have agreed to release their players, with only Advocaat publicly voicing his disapproval.

Advocaat said last month he should have been consulted before Hiddink called his players up.

"I don't understand why we should release our players for a training camp as we have a very important game coming up," Advocaat said.


On Saturday, Hiddink visited Zenit's training camp, which is also in Belek. He did not see Advocaat, who went to Germany that day to watch Stuttgart in action in the Bundesliga.

"I had a nice chat with (Zenit's Dutch assistant coach) Bert van Lingen," Hiddink said. "We're very good friends, we have known each other for over 40 years since the day we attended the same coaching school in Holland."

Russian media suggested Hiddink had picked Saturday to avoid seeing Advocaat.

"No, not at all," Hiddink replied. "We're not friends, we don't have to be friends, but it's not true we don't talk.

"Last week I sent him a text explaining everything. I didn't talk to him because he doesn't like to talk much on the phone."

Hiddink decided against calling up Tottenham Hotspur striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and new Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin.

"Arshavin has just joined Arsenal, Pavlyuchenko is in his first season with Tottenham, so it wouldn't be wise to bring them here just for a few days," he said.