Big rebuilding job for Chelsea – Hiddink


Although it will not be his concern, Hiddink said it would not be a “small job” to prepare Chelsea to challenge for trophies again.

Chelsea lost 2-1 at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday and Hiddink admitted afterwards that he “envied” the options at Laurent Blanc's disposal.

Speaking at his press conference yesterday afternoon, Hiddink pointed again to PSG's strength in depth, contrasting it to the less experienced players on Chelsea's bench. To be successful again, he said, Chelsea would need a bench that was “also very experienced”.

Unless Chelsea climb into the Premier League top six over the last 12 games, this will be their worst league finish of the Roman Abramovich era. “It is not a small job,” Hiddink said, when asked about this summer's rebuild.

“I don't want to open up too much, but everyone has to make good analysis about the strength, and weakness of the squad. They have to react in making the squad stronger for next season. That is not a small job.”

Hiddink insisted that it was not his job to worry too much about the future of the squad, as he will be replaced by another manager at the end of the season. “I am here in an interim period,” he said.

“The people who are not responsible for having to prepare every week's game, who have the longer vision of the needs of the club, they are in charge to do so. I will not walk on before their actions.”

Hiddink's opinions were clear, though, when asked about the difference between Chelsea and Europe's biggest clubs, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. “If you see the potential of those clubs, it is huge,” he said.

“To be honest, if you see PSG, they have a very strong, not just first 11, but can go onto 15, 16, 17 big players. With all our love, we had some youngsters on the bench against PSG last Tuesday.

“I am not scared to bring them on, but in the long run of a lot of game, you need a bench which is also very experienced. Plus some youngsters of course.”

Chelsea's senior players, though, are performing better now than they did under Jose Mourinho at the start of the season. Hiddink explained how enjoyment, rather than relaxation, was the key to his approach.

“It is not a relaxed atmosphere because we all want to perform at 100 per cent,” he said. “The players must play with joy. If you play with joy, the best comes out of the players. Joy is not always laughing, it is enjoying being a professional, enjoying training and doing your job.”

“If you enjoy it, and you feel a bit natural, then I think the performance is unconditioned,” Hiddink said. “If you see young players playing, they are natural, and play in the moment. Then the execution comes out best.”

Hiddink advised Eden Hazard to improve his form after another poor performance in Paris on Tuesday night. “He was in a difficult situation but needs to step up,” Hiddink said.

“He knows that and we have our talks with him. Everyone and then a small conversation how to step up to the next level and that is his wish. I hope that he will as soon as possible.”

Hazard has scored just one Chelsea goal this season, far from the form which won him the Footballer of the Year award last year. “He can show more,” Hiddink said.

“He is aware of that and now it is up to him to step up.”

Chelsea will be without John Terry for tomorrow's FA Cup fifth round game with Manchester City. –The Independent

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