Soccer

No regrets for Hiddink

2009-05-16 14:44
Happy to leave (Gallo Images)
London - Guus Hiddink won't shed any tears when he walks away from Stamford Bridge for the last time after Sunday's match against Blackburn because the Chelsea interim boss can reflect on a job well done.
  
Hiddink takes charge of his last home match this weekend before turning his attention to one final Premier League clash at Sunderland and then the FA Cup final against Everton on May 30.

The Dutch coach has made a big impact during his brief four-month reign. Since replacing Luiz Felipe Scolari in February, Hiddink has delivered on Blues owner Roman Abramovich's desire to see Chelsea qualify for the Champions League and challenge in the cup competitions.

But he returns to his full-time role as Russia coach at the end of May and insists he won't have any regrets about cutting short his adventure in west London.

"When I started in February, I was fully committed to do my job.

"But having had the response of everyone - the players, the staff, the public - it gives me a lot of satisfaction," Hiddink said.

"It's not easy to say goodbye. But let's not be too dramatic."

"Unofficially, I will keep my connection with the club. By supporting them, by coming to visit every now and then.

"Sadness is not the right word. I'm not going to cry. I don't know my emotions. I have enjoyed very much working at this club, with these players.

"To be honest, when I started, I thought I'd have to fight a lot with the status of players. I though there was a pre-set mind that they would be untouchable, but we touched each other.

"I'm proud of that. Now we split, so there's a feeling of respect. Not regret, but respect."

With third place secured after last weekend's 4-1 rout of Arsenal, Hiddink can turn his attention to taking his final bow at the Bridge. He is yet to lose a home match and has no intention of allowing his players to take their foot off the gas ahead of the Cup Final.

"We have to do the serious approach which we do with every game," Hiddink said. "The lads like to play football and they must play good games against Blackburn and Sunderland.

"We stay on our toes regarding our concentration until the end of May. We have to play the game the way we like to play the game.

"That's another motivation. If players see the stadium and the people there, every player who is not motivated in those circumstances is not worthy to start in the first XI."

Chelsea, who could still catch second-placed Liverpool, are likely to be without injured forward Salomon Kalou while Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti are also doubtful with flu.

Rovers need one point from their last two matches to guarantee their survival, but Sam Allardyce's side already have enough points to be confident of another trip to Chelsea next season and could be safe by the time they kick-off if results go their way on Saturday.

Allardyce's side have lost their last four away games however and the Rovers boss said: "We have had some satisfying results at home but away we have been extremely disappointing.

"Chelsea away on Sunday is a situation where I'm looking for a much better performance and result combined if we can.

"But going up against such a big team as Chelsea we really need to be sound defensively, everyone needs to take responsibility and do their defensive duties from the centre forward all the way through the team."

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