Over the past dozen years of the Roman Abramovich era, Chelsea have had more than a fair share of interim managers. Surprisingly, they've all been rather successful, with Avram Grant finishing second in a lot of things, Benítez winning the Europa League, Di Matteo winning a Champions League and FA Cup double, and Hiddink adding an FA Cup and near-perfect league record during his first spell in charge.
Despite the past glories achieved by Hiddink at Stamford Bridge, he is focusing on what is next for Chelsea rather than worrying about what's come before.
"I don't want to explore that memory but the past is the past and we have to live now and in the very near future. I didn't think one moment when I got a call a few days ago. I didn't think one moment on 'ah, let me not spoil the beautiful memory of 2009'."
"Because, first of all, I got this affection; I got so related with this club in that period which was a very successful period, so I got this affection to the club and vice-versa. When I was asked, I was eager to help out the club in trouble"
With Chelsea languishing just a point above the relegation zone in December, Hiddink certainly has his work cut out for him. But even though the team showed many problems on the pitch, the new manager hasn't found as many within the squad.
"When I'm making a lot of questions about the past [with Mourinho], or I get information from people within the team, everyone in this [personnel] might give you information with the best will but it can also be coloured."
"With different glasses you look to different players. I like to observe, I like to see how players act, how they relate, how they cope together. And there you can 'smell' easily what problems might be and I so far didn't find them so much."
"I don't know how it was before, because everyone knows that after a championship, a beautiful championship last year and then there was a fall down, and I don't know how their faces were at that time."
"What I like to see players when they are very committed, you act well if you come to the training ground and you have not a smiling mood, not relaxed, but if they are eager and they show that they are confident and well-balanced."
Before the 0-0 draw against Manchester United and the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace recorded on Sunday, Chelsea had a nervy but promising 2-2 draw against Watford that could have easily been a win were it not for an unfortunate slip. Hiddink took plenty of positives from the latter, and was especially pleased with the players' attitudes towards recovering a point from a losing position.
"What I see is not just smiling. What I see is that the players react because it was also a difficult game [against Watford]. Sunderland was okay although with 3-1 the team starts to get a bit uncomfortable, but in the Watford game we had two very unlucky moments: with the penalty [given by Matic] - stupidity of ourselves - and we had this deflected goal."
"And then I'm very curious what the reaction is after this set-back in confidence, not in commitment because they say 'oh, let's go', but in confidence you can say 'I'm very committed!' and you run and run but they showed after this goal that 'hey, we have to still at least half an hour to go, we'll manage this'. And that's the attitude that I liked very much in this Watford game."
In the last few years, Chelsea's Old Guard from Hiddink's first outing with the club has been dismantled with only a few players still remaining. Hiddink pondered on the 'lack of leadership' argument that comes up whenever the Chelsea of old and the new are put side-by-side and compared.
"We had in the past Lampard and Ballack and all those guys, they were having this tactical leadership. This team that I have now has the same commitment when I work with them after a week as they have had probably also in the past."
"Sometimes you have your players who are leaders from childhood on. I think this kind of players can be even more in their commitment, in their tactical [leadership] during a game."
As with any working group, you have different kinds of people and personalities working together towards a common goal. This type of man management is something Hiddink seems to thrive on, as he discussed how he uses different personal approaches depending on which player he's talking to.
"I respect the players as well but they must give everything to the team and those are clichés - I know - but that's why every now and then I don't have long conversations with players but sometimes you can in two, three sentences tell a player what you expect or what you think he can improve in."
"So that's what I like to [see] because I think every individual can go a little bit too high a level [on] what they know or what they think of. And that's why I try to bring and if you accumulate that, then the team will rise."
"Everyone has this special recipe to touch and all players are different, so most times your approach is general in a tactical way but sometimes to get a player even better to perform on his ability, one you get angry at, and the other one you say 'hey'. It's different with every player."
From hearing Hiddink speak about his job, it's quite evident that he very much enjoys being a manager, especially at a club like Chelsea. Still, he can't give any guarantees on whether he would be open to staying at the club past this season.
"This is where you touch the grass. This is one of the most beautiful professions you can have, in the open air, with young guys... I fell in love [with Chelsea] at that time and the love has not disappeared, so I'm back."
"Let's first go to the summer and see what the upcoming difficult times will bring and in principle, no; we say in summer I'm going to see if my handicap can be brought a little bit low. We'll see."
-Guus Hiddink; Source: Sky Sports