My Soccer World

Football: New Chelsea Boss Hiddink Meets His Stars

Posted on: February 13, 2009

LONDON: New Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink met his players for the first time on Thursday at the club’s Cobham training headquarters.

Hiddink has replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was sacked on Monday, and although he doesn’t officially take charge until next week the Dutchman flew into England ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fifth round tie at Watford to get to know the squad.

He was greeted at Cobham by chief executive Peter Kenyon, who gave the former Australia and South Korea coach a tour of the main building and met some of the players in the treatment room.

Hiddink, who will remain as Russia coach as well as working for Chelsea until the end of the season, was introduced to staff before continuing to the first-team dressing room where he met the remaining first team players.

The Dutchman later told Chelsea TV that club owner Roman Abramovich had played a key role in his decision to come to London.

“When the situation occurred I was asked, because of the relationship with Roman Abramovich as well, and of course it is a big club,” said Hiddink. “Let me be honest, I came because he asked me to join the club for the upcoming time.”

Hiddink insists Chelsea can still win trophies this season. “They are in several races. The FA Cup is there, there is the Champions League, but also the league,” he said.

“There is a ten-point difference but if you look into the past of this league, and of other leagues as well, some things can happen during the final stages of the championship.”

Hiddink accompanied chairman Bruce Buck out on to the training field to watch the main session, led by Ray Wilkins. They were later joined by Abramovich and director Eugene Tenenbaum.

Assistant coach Wilkins, who will lead the team against Watford, chatted with the new coach who will start work with the squad on the training ground from Monday. – AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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