Hiddink: “Players responded but we have a tight schedule now”

Hiddink: “Players responded but we have a tight schedule now”

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Guus Hiddink during last year's spell at Chelsea © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink reaction after the important win at Southampton:

We didn’t start very well,” Guus admitted.

“They were dominant in the first 20 minutes. There was some threat but no big chances for them, and we took it over and controlled the latter part of the first half.

“We gave them a big present at the end but the team reacted very well, not just mentally but also in an attacking sense. We maintained our composure and we tried to regain possession as soon as possible, which the team did.

We waited for the equaliser and then we were happy the corner was perfectly executed by Ivanovic. It was deserved. For big parts of the game we were great.

“The Chelsea we want to see is one which reacts to setbacks. We like to be proactive also, and this is what the team did, regaining possession as soon as possible and showing a huge desire to turn a negative result into a positive one. We emphasised that and the players responded.”

Shane Long’s goal came after a mistake by Baba, who was then replaced at half-time by Kenedy.

“I could easily say he was injured but no, he was taken off because of that. We have had some problems in the defensive execution in that part of our team.

“I could have waited but sometimes you have to take a decision which can be very harsh. He has to cope with that and I must say young Kenedy did his job very well.”

Hiddink revealed Pedro has a ‘little problem with his hamstrings’ and may be back for the Everton FA Cup game in a couple of weeks.

He expressed his disappointment with the scheduling of that fixture

“We have a tight schedule: Norwich on Tuesday, then Stoke, then PSG and surprisingly the Everton game was put on the Saturday instead of the Sunday.

“We were going to play Liverpool on the Sunday, and I don’t know who decided all of a sudden we would play on Saturday afternoon. It was astonishing people could change the kick-off time.

“We have PSG on Wednesday night, which can but hopefully won’t go to extra-time. All players need at least two days recovery, and a third day to start up a bit. The medical departments must get their concerns in on this as well. We have to protect the players. It’s a side step but I was frustrated by that.”