Chelsea’s campaign after winning the Barclays Premier League last season did not go according to plan as the manager who got them the glory had to be sacked to get the team back on track.
Under Guus Hiddink, results started to come at will and suddenly Chelsea who were close to the bottom three are back in the top half of the table. The manager with this consistency can take the club to Europe next season but the Dutchman has plans of his own.
With the latest victory against Norwich City, Chelsea have moved to 8th place just 5 points away from Manchester United in 5th at the moment. A 5th placed finish as the end of the season will take the club to Europa League next season and so will winning the FA Cup and doing either will be more than what Roman Abramovic would have expected of Hiddink when he bought him to the club in December.
United, in fifth, seem more catchable and are currently five points ahead, although that could change when they play Watford on Wednesday.
“Are they catchable?” said Hiddink when asked about United. “Well, first of all, we’re happy. It’s not Chelsea standard to be happy to be out of the relegation zone, and sit back and relax a bit.
“We have to set new targets now with the ambition of Chelsea in the direction of Europe.”
Chelsea face some tough fixtures ahead with a trip to PSG sandwiched between league ties against Everton and Stoke City but Guus Hiddink was optimistic of his team’s chances to finish in the 5th place.
“If everyone is available, we’d like to go as high as possible towards the European spots,” he added.
The Blues are no un-defeated in their last 11 league games and Hiddink said that he was satisfied with his teams run recently.
“We have now won a few games in a row, which gives satisfaction of course,” he said.
Chelsea took the lead at Norwich after just 39 seconds when Kenedy scored and Diego Costa doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time, albeit from an offside position.
t wasn’t the first time this season that Chelsea have benefited from an offside goal and Hiddink sympathised with the Canaries, who dropped into the bottom three.
“I haven’t seen it yet but, if so, I can understand people are frustrated in the other dressing room,” he said.
“If that’s the case, I can understand their feelings.”
The Canaries staged a mini fight back in the second half started by Nathan Redmond’s goal and the manager recognized that his side were put under pressure and accepted that they should have finished the game off early.
“We did in the end, but we should have killed it off already by then. I’m satisfied with the result, but I like to be critical that we didn’t finish it off early.”
Do you think Chelsea can complete their season above Manchester United?