Belfast Telegraph

Hiddink takes Chelsea job

Chelsea have announced that Guus Hiddink will take over as temporary manager until the end of the season.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich made the move for Russia coach Hiddink following the club's decision to sack Luiz Felipe Scolari on Monday. .

"Abramovich does so much for Russian football that I wanted to do something back," said Hiddink, who would combine the job at Stamford Bridge with his role with the Russian national side.

"One of these days I will go to London. I expect to be there on the field next week."

Hiddink has given little thought to staying beyond the end of the current campaign.

He said: "There are two scenarios: it goes bad and they say 'go back east' or it goes well, but I'm not thinking that far ahead."

Hiddink is determined to lead Russia into the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

They have just two qualifiers between now and the end of the English season - against Azerbaijan at home at the end of March and Liechtenstein away on 1 April, and neither will clash with a Chelsea fixture.

Hiddink has previous experience of holding two jobs at the same time, having coached Australia and PSV Eindhoven simultaneously.

Assistant coach Ray Wilkins will lead the team for their FA Cup fifth-round tie against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Hiddink's first match in charge is likely to be in the league against Aston Villa on 21 February.

Reports from Turkey, where Russia have held a training camp this week, have indicated Hiddink is planning to travel to England and will watch Chelsea's game at Watford from the stands.

The Dutchman is set to inherit a team fourth in the Barclays Premier League after a dip in form which has seem them fall seven points behind leaders Manchester United, who also have a game in hand.

Hiddink's main objective may be to steer Chelsea to success in the Champions League and FA Cup.

In Europe they face a difficult last-16 clash against Juventus, the team coached by former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri, with the first leg at Stamford Bridge on 25 February.

Belfast Telegraph


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