English Premiership

Hiddink confirms season-end exit at Chelsea

2016-01-08 21:52
Guus Hiddink (AFP)

Cobham - Chelsea's interim manager Guus Hiddink said on Friday that he is certain to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Hiddink, 69, has presided over two wins and two draws since the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December opened the door for him to return to Chelsea following a previous short-term stint in 2009.

Pep Guardiola's announcement that he intends to move to England after leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season has prompted speculation that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could make another move for him.

In any case, Hiddink intends to leave the way clear, telling a press conference: "I've put two dates in my mind, which is May 21 and 28, and then it's finished. Then I can go home on the 29.

"Those dates are FA Cup (final) and Champions League (final). We made it very clear that at the end of this, then I will stop."

Hiddink also confirmed that Oscar has apologised to Diego Costa for the challenge that sparked a training-ground confrontation between the pair on Thursday.

Hiddink admitted that the flashpoint had come after a strong challenge by Oscar on the striker, prompting other Chelsea players to intervene and separate the duo.

But the Dutchman, who likened the players to a pair of bulls, said that Oscar would not face disciplinary action after the Brazil playmaker accepted responsibility and a line was drawn under the matter.

"It was a pity that our photographer yesterday had a day off because he could have shot beautiful pictures from the two, let's say, bulls who were chesting a bit after a charge from behind from the smaller bull, which was Oscar," said Hiddink, whose side host third-tier Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

"He (Costa) took a charge from behind and it was overdone, especially when you know Oscar. He is not the biggest tackler of the team and he got Diego.

"And of course, then they stumbled over the ground, stood up as a normal reaction and then chested a bit without any further seriousness or threat of punching or whatever. It was more the threat of two bulls.

"After that, Oscar apologised in front of the group. He wanted to speak. I said, 'Take the podium.' He apologised for his over-reacting and then they looked at each other and they started laughing. I think it's OK.

"Jokes were made already afterwards, so it's normal. We are used to playing on a high intensity. It happens, so it's solved."

Asked if either player might face punishment from the club, Hiddink replied: "No, no disciplinary action. If they solved this as they have done, then it's perfect."

Hiddink led Chelsea to FA Cup success during his previous spell as interim manager at Stamford Bridge in 2009 and he admits the trophy is a high priority as a poor Premier League campaign rumbles on.

"When I started weeks ago I said we have to have some aims as a big club, we have to have some targets," he told reporters at Chelsea's training base.

"Fourth place in the Premier League is difficult, but there are two targets left and one is the FA Cup, so it is a big test for this group of players."

The Dutchman confirmed that Chelsea will start their cup campaign without injured trio Eden Hazard, Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao.

Falcao's future at the club has come under question and Hiddink conceded that the on-loan Monaco striker's fitness was a concern.

"I am a bit worried about this situation," Hiddink said. "When I came in, he was injured. He started training again, then had a setback, so I gave him time to recover and we will see what will happen.

"He is out of sight at this moment in the squad."


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