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Hiddink: Bertrand Traoré earned his stripes in training

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Meritocracy and earning first-team chances through training — it's a line of thinking we had heard form Mourinho several times as well, but we never really seemed to bear witness to it actually working in action.  And while Hiddink hasn't exactly been giving out minutes willy-nilly to the youngsters either, he has shown willingness to play at least some of them some of the time, and sometimes even in important situations.  Leading the charge for Guus is young Bertrand Traoré, who scored his fourth goal in five appearances on Saturday.

"You see in parts of the game that he has quality. He has shown that already when he has come on."

"It's a little bit different when you start at Stamford Bridge from the beginning. You can see he has quality but young players have to try to control and dominate their nerves and you could see that at the beginning. But he showed with the goal that he has the capacity to do a lot."

"The strikers compete amongst themselves in a healthy way. If they show what they do in training then it will be rewarded."

-Guus Hiddink; source: Mail

The first 15 or so minutes were probably Traoré's worst in a Chelsea shirt, but he settled down ("dominated his nerves") and was able to make positive contributions, including his well-taken goal that for some time looked good enough for all three points.  While that didn't quite come to pass (and the poor play of Traoré's replacement, the veteran Loïc Rémy may have played a part in that), the 20-year-old was still happy with his goal and the opportunities give to him.

"I took the decision to turn and shoot and it was on target, it was a great shot, so I'm happy with it. Of course we wanted to take the three points and they scored a late equaliser, so it feels like a defeat, but we have to keep our heads up for Wednesday's game."

"As young players they are big opportunities for us. We have to push, knock on the door and work hard in training. Every player wants to be in the starting 11 every week. I've had the chance to start two games in a row so I'm very happy with that and I have to keep training well."

"From now we have to stay focused, go into training and get everything in place for Wednesday."

-Bertrand Traoré; source: Chelsea FC

Diego Costa is expected to be back in the starting lineup for Wednesday's match against PSG, but with Rémy struggling and Pato still a complete unknown quantity, Traoré might just get a chance to wow us once again with an important contribution.

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