Guus Hiddink Admits Chelsea Are Not Out Of Relegation Danger
Guus Hiddink has warned his Chelsea players relegation is a possibility this season if they cannot improve their form.
Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by West Brom on Wednesday when James McClean equalised in the dying minutes – a result which leaves them just four places and six points above the relegation zone.
It is the latest in a series of setbacks for the reigning Premier League champions and Hiddink acknowledged the Blues cannot afford to take anything for granted in what has been a disastrous season so far.
“We all like to look forward, but don’t be unrealistic when you are six points above the relegation line, that is a fact,” Hiddink said.
“It was a setback in the 86th minute we got this draw against West Brom which would’ve helped us a lot in going up I think, so relegation is a reality.
“When we started we were one point above the relegation line, and now we have a little bit more of a breathe, but we have two very difficult games coming up, against Everton who have a very good away record in the last 10 games. Then Arsenal – two very difficult games. If you don’t gather those points, the Premier League can surprise you.”
Diego Costa has courted controversy at times season with his inability to control his emotions and his short temper was on display again in midweek against West Brom.
The Spanish striker was involved in a series of heated confrontations with Baggies players during the game.
Hiddink was quick to defend his player when questioned though he did concede he needs to tone down his antics.
Hiddink said: “This referee did not want to send off anyone. Also to Diego the second yellow was not there.
“But they are playing on the edge; he is playing on the edge. But also the opponents – they are provoking as well. If you see the little things, it’s mutual. But nevertheless he should control. He didn’t go out of order but was on the edge.
“Players are smart. I talk about this with him, not every day but this morning. But the opponents like to provoke a bit, which is also normal in a men’s game but he has to deal with that as well. The referee has to deal with that.
“I’ll defend my players, especially when they are very, very hot.”
Chelsea have been linked with a January move for Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato but Hiddink dismissed the possibility, insisting he is content with the players he has.
“No [we don’t want Pato]. No truth in it, we now have Diego, Remy and some youngsters who can fill up the gap, we are not in that at the moment,” Hiddink said.
Hiddink also shot down any speculation Real Madrid are interested in luring Eden Hazard away from Chelsea before transfer bans come into effect for themselves and Atletico Madrid.
Hiddink said: “All big clubs are looking to big players, but both Madrid clubs have protested and I am not sure if they can use this transfer window or the next one, or if it will be postponed, but I don’t expect much of this in this window.”