English Premiership

Hiddink hails Pato's long-awaited impact

2016-04-04 10:16
Alexandre Pato (TEAMtalk)

Cape Town - Guus Hiddink hailed the long-awaited arrival of Alexandre Pato after the Brazil forward played a major part in Chelsea's 4-0 demolition of woeful Aston Villa.

Pato, on-loan from Corinthians, stepped off the bench to mark his debut with a penalty on the stroke of halftime and then had a hand in the second half double from Pedro which put the seal on Chelsea's dominant display at Villa Park on Saturday.

Pato was clearly delighted to make such an immediate impact after a frustrating two-month wait for his first appearance and so too were his teammates and Hiddink, who had put the 26-year-old through a gruelling fitness programme to get him ready for the demands of the Premier League.

"It was good to see Pato coming in. The expectation was that he was coming in earlier in the previous games," Hiddink said.

I could have brought him in earlier, but we wanted to build up his physical condition, then on top of that he can show his quality.

"It was not the toughest game in the Premier League. You have to take that into consideration, but we are happy to see him make his first appearance.

"The other players see him suffering mentally when we make a regime on him, training with the first team, but also doing extra work with the fitness coaches and the other coaches.

"You suffer if you have to do that and the other players see that. They are happy that he has worked so hard to get to this position, they recognise that situation."

Now Chelsea interim manager Hiddink hopes the presence of former AC Milan star Pato and the return of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao can help Chelsea finish a frustrating season on a high note.


"I now have the luxury that I did not have in the winter time with Pato and Falcao coming back," Hiddink said.

"I only had Diego Costa back then, and (Bertrand) Traore was just a kid. But I now have Pato coming back, Falcao coming back, so we have a lot of competition for one position.

"I have said to them, make it difficult for me to make the choice in the coming weeks."

Hiddink was delighted with the way Chelsea ensured bottom of the table Villa were not able to produce a response following the midweek sacking of boss Remi Garde.

"Villa are in this very difficult situation, but I think we started the game very well because of the circumstances they are in," Hiddink added.

"They have had a change of the manager and it can also produce a reaction from the team.

"But we didn't let that happen. We killed the game off in the first part. I think it was over after the second goal."

Villa's caretaker manager Eric Black had sympathy for the club's long-suffering fans, who once again staged a walkout protest after they were put through another 90 minutes of torment.

Villa have won just three league games this season and sit 15 points from safety, leaving them destined for a return to the second tier for the first time since 1988.

"It's not pleasant, but it's not been overly pleasant in the couple of months since I've been here," Black said.

"However, I can fully understand the atmosphere. The supporters are obviously extremely frustrated, as probably I would be if I was a supporter.

"It's a massive turnaround required at the club now, but it's going to take time.

"The only thing we can do is try and get the supporters back on side and the only way we will do that is producing performances on the pitch.

"It's been happening all season, we seem to be in games, but then its from basic errors that we concede goals at crucial moments."


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