clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hiddink on Chelsea's cockiness, Loftus-Cheek's value, Costa's attitude

Another win registered in the Chelsea resurrection, this time around in the FA Cup against Scunthorpe United.  That makes two in a row and for straight unbeaten.  Though any outcome other than a win today would've been a shock.

That said, new manager Guus Hiddink didn't think the game was easy, especially once the team got a "bit cocky" and complacent and let the visitors grow into the match as it wore on.

"It was not an easy game. I think we started well, we got an early goal and we were a little bit cocky in finishing off to seal the win in the first twenty minutes. And then we knew that they are very dangerous on their set-pieces, especially their corners, so the equalizer is always in the air."

A more positive individual assessment was handed out to young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who made his seventh appearance for the club this season and also scored his first senior goal for Chelsea and in his career.  While Hiddink has not been as quick to integrate the youth as many had hoped (or his supposed mandate would've indicated), perhaps this good showing, and the positive performances of Kenedy and Bertrand Traoré, will go some ways towards changing that approach.

"It is nice. We have the youngsters and I know them now, after three, four weeks and I know their abilities. And when it's a possibility, I don't hesitate to bring them."

"[It was a] very clean finish [from Loftus-Cheek for the second goal]. He waits, waits and waits and then he's coming in the right moment. When there's talent in people, you know that, then you don't teach them so much."


"[Loftus-Cheek] can be of big value now. He's 19 - I thought he was 22, 23 when I came in, he has the physique of a grown player already. But he's 19 and we have to be careful in one hand."

"In the other hand I said 'hey, come on guys, get it done' and we don't hesitate. We are in a difficult situation to get fourth place in the Premier League, then I say 'OK, let's give them a try'. That will probably happen more."


"It's also good to see young players now knocking on the door. It's not always easy for them - people think, when they don't play, that they are very good - but they have to get confronted with the reality of Premier League which is a tough competition. But it is good for them."

"If you have an Academy, then you must bring the young players. They must cope to a certain level but then you have to bring them and you must back them up as well once things are going a little bit wrong for them and give them a little bit of time to develop themselves."

Since Hiddink took over, some of our players have looked more confident on the pitch, a change that Hiddink claims is down to a bit of a heart-to-heart he's had with everyone.

"Of course we talked, when I came in, briefly about the past. You can not neglect the past, what has happened and the causes and I asked and I demanded from everyone, 'look in this mirror, don't look one second and point to others', [evaluate] what was your contribution so far. And what can you do now to go on fresh. And they responded."

"Last week's result [against Crystal Palace] was crucial. If they lose that game, then you go in an 'up-and-down' situation. We want to go on now in a sequence of good results and good play."

One player in particular who is clearly getting back to his previous form is striker Diego Costa, who now has four goals in his three games under Hiddink's command, already matching the number of goals he had scored throughout the season while José Mourinho was still at the club. To Hiddink, this is just a result of Costa focusing on what he does best, which is scoring goals, while avoiding his previous antics on the pitch.

"I think he's a very energetic, powerful personality and [when I talk to him,] those are not big conversations. Those are small conversations on training. But he's focusing himself now in what he's good at. And [scoring goals] is what he's good at."

"He's focusing on what he has to do. I thought - from distance, of course, I watch a lot of Premier League and Chelsea, especially - sometimes you lose your energy in things out of where you have to be. And [I say] 'don't do that, don't let people provoke you, don't go into traps. Go and use your energy where you're good at.'"

While all the emphasis on Sunday was on the FA Cup, Hiddink's hoping to use this latest win to continue re-building the season.  He does maintain that top four isn't a realistic target, though it is still mathematically possible.  One match a time then.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History