Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink spoke to the press today ahead of clash with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge:
SQUAD – “The squad is looking OK after Watford where we should have made the three points not we did not in the last part. The players have come in and are fit except that Falcao is not in and Remy is not in.
“Pedro got a little injury, we will see how he reacts.
REMY – “Remy will be involved next week.
PATO – “Pato is in his pre-season and we have made a training plan which he is doing now every day at least once and sometimes twice training so he is getting his fitness but not full fitness yet. He will not be in for the upcoming few games. We want him fit and don’t want to risk injury for this tough lead.
“He is skillful, you can see he’s got quality. He is ambitious, but he needs more physical condition in this moment, he played his last game 28 november, and then went on vacation, so it’s like in pre-season for him, we cannot go over the top.
“It’s good to have him on loan ,as the club has not offered him a longer deal. It is good for us both. We can see if he makes an impact in the 20 games he can play
HAZARD – “Perfect game for him? Yeah, every game for him is perfect. Whether he will start we will see. He came in the last game, I played a little bit more than a half for FA Cup and we don’t want to take big risks for him. We will see if he starts.
TERRY – “I have not noticed any change because first of all he is very experienced player. He’s been through good things and storms so you don’t notice differences. He likes to train and he is having laughs.
“No we talked about it last week and have no updates regarding this.
“Fans reaction? That’s true he was well received at Watford, they supported and cheered him so hopefully we will have a good reaction.
BIG MATCH – “It is a big match, big clubs through the years. Both Manchester likes to compete and they must go in the Champions League positions. The history of Chelsea recently have underperformed but we are getting back a bit on track. But I’d like some more victories than unbeaten draws. The team is more stable and now we hope to go into a beautiful springtime.
“Have they underperformed?
“Difficult for me to judge. I like the players here so I am not going into the problems of other clubs as well.
VAN GAAL – “I have a professional relationship, we have met in our professional life so much, we have met in Spain and Holland a few times, but we have a professional relation.
“My good record against him? I don’t think we must overvalue the role of managers and coaches. We prepare the games and focus on the opponent, that’s it, but then the players have to execute what you want to do. We should not overvalue battle between managers, it’s the team.
“We can talk all morning about Manchester United but we are different colours. Every club has periods where they might worry a bit. I don’t like to go too much into other people’s kitchens.
“He has to perform. That is normal. There is pressure, there still is big ambition and they have to cope with that. If you have the possibility to go into first position, the pressure is on.
TOP FOUR – “For us it’s difficult to go fourth spot, we have to do 3.1 points average!
“But we need to win, because we made too many draws, so it’s very very difficult.
TARGETS – “Now in the FA Cup we have to confront Man City, that we consider an early final, and then we got also Champions League.
PLAYING STYLE – “The previous game was better against a lesser opponent but in the last few minutes against Watford we like to have the game wrapped up which we didn’t do. We did not have the ultimate sharpness to finish it off and my former goalie [Gomes] extended his legs and arms.
“We have to finish it off well. I said before the game in the FA Cup we must not just depend on Diego [Costa. Oscar responded after that, we need the attackers to finish it off.
CHINESE FOOTBALL – “China are very serious in getting into the international football, they want recognition from football world.had some contacts over there that were very keen, not to bring in big money and star players, but it is equally important for the development of Chinese football to bring in players to educate and help academies. You can’t just buy big star players and think you have grounded Chinese football. They are basic things, but I know even from high ranked government people they have a very good approach. It will not be profitably tomorrow, but in the future.
“We had a great offer for Ramires and everybody agreed, Oscar was just speculation and I don’t want to go into that.
ZIDANE AS REAL MADRID MANAGER – “It’s not easy, it depends on how the big players cope with their status as big players. If former players think they can do the job overnight, being player and then be manager, I guess they do a mistake, there must be a foundation, knowledge, in how to practice and how to train the team. They need reputation to get a good course.
“When I was in the Dutch we brought ex players like Koeman, Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten to do coach courses, at the beginning they were not convinced, but then it paid off. It’s the same with Zidane, I loved seeing him play, he was one of those players that are beautiful for the eyes.
“He can make a good progress, he knows the club, he was coach of Castilla, on top of that I guess the personality is important, how do you cope with being a big star and cope with feet on the ground.
PEDRO – “We will see how he reacts to this morning intensified training this afternoon, the injury was in his groin.
STRIKERS PRESSURE – “I don’t know if strikers at big clubs feel pressure, in the case of Vardy I think he made this beautiful goal, without thinking, I think [big clubs strikers] they don’t feel the pressure from outside.
“We practice, we prepare them tactically and that’s what we do. We are depending in their contribution on the day.
“Whenever you can score, score…we don’t say ” don’t score from distance” it’s their feeling in the moment.
“I am not worried when a striker in one game doesn’t score, like it happened to Diego in the last game. Other players must take the opportunity”.