Hiddink: “The players have responded very well”

Hiddink: “The players have responded very well”

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has said the performance of his side was strong as they swept to a 1-5 win against MK Dons in the FA Cup.

Oscar’s first-half hattrick, followed by Eden Hazard’s penalty and a first ever goal for Chelsea by Bernard Traore was more than enough to be the Championship side at the Stadium MK.

Speaking after the game, Hiddink said however that although the performance was good, it may not have been the best:

“We have to take into consideration we played against a team, with all due respect, from a lower league, but we can be happy with the performance,” said Hiddink.

“In the first 20 minutes we showed the ambition to try to finish it off early, but the only thing we forgot was how to score. They got an equaliser but the reaction of the team was good.

“Was it the best performance? I don’t know. 

“We played Arsenal last week and that was a different game but I liked the commitment of the team. Normally the concentration might drop down after you score.”

The Dutchman also spoke of his happiness for Eden Hazard, who scored his first goal in 30 appearances in a Chelsea shirt:

‘It was okay for him because he’s had a difficult time with injuries.

“We have a hierarchy of penalty takers, with Oscar first, but they gave it to him and it’s good he scored.

“He’s coming back now after a long absence and he needs the rhythm of these games. He played more than an hour and it’s important for the upcoming multitude of games.”

Hiddink also explained why he has been pleased with the players since taking charge, with the Blues still unbeaten since his arrival.

“The players have responded very well to the way we’re working.

“It’s important we got some results; at the beginning there were draws but the standard of the club needs more than draws. We had to find some security, which we did, and from then on we like to go on an array of victories, which isn’t standard in this difficult league.

“Of course there is quality but there is also a will to do the disciplined tactical work we demand as a team, not just the players who are natural defenders but also the ones who are naturally more creative, and that’s benefiting the team.”

Oscar’s hat-trick – his first in English football – effectively sealed the game by half time, and Hiddink said that it was also extremely important:

“We must not depend on the production and delivery of just Diego Costa.

“The others have to produce as well, which they can, we emphasise that in training by doing exercises where they have to penetrate. We don’t just want to be depending on Diego Costa.

“He (Oscar) is important.

“For these positions we have four or five players, we have to think clearly when to use them in the multitude of games. He’s also very aware of his responsibility defensively, he likes to recover (possession) as soon as possible to go on playing.”

Hiddink, who said he hopes Willian will recover from picking up a late knock in time for Wednesday’s game at Watford, spoke about the situation of new loan signing Alexandre Pato:

“He [Pato] trained once with us, a very light practice, but I want him to integrate as much as possible, as with Miazga.

“They worked today on their physical condition and we’ll try to build the two of them up as soon as possible. They were here, they practiced at Cobham this morning and then came here by car.”

Hiddink then spoke about Patrick Bamford being loaned to Norwich City:

“I’ve seen him in training and practical games, some exercises we did recently.

“He’s a typical striker who needs to play a lot. If he’d stayed at Chelsea it’s not good for him, he must play and have competition.”