Chelsea’s new interim boss Guus Hiddink has warned his players relegation is still a possibility this season unless they cannot improve their current form.
Chelsea were slapped with another frustrating draw by West Brom in their last outing after James McClean equalised in the dying minutes, a result which leaves the Blues 14th in the table, just 4 places and six points above relegation zone. They will welcome Everton today at Stamford Bridge.
The West Brom draw was the latest in a series of setbacks for the struggling Premier League champions and Hiddink with all his experience acknowledges the Blues are now not in a position to afford to take anything for granted in a disastrous campaign 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 confessed.
“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.”
Speaking on the rumours which linked Chelsea with a move for Brazil striker Alexandre Pato, Hiddink believes they are handling a difficult January transfer market because of the uncertainty over their future and also the uncertainty over who will manage the team when his contract ends at the end of the season.
“It’s a realistic view and Chelsea has to deal with it,” he said.
“Also, in a new setting, there may be an influence of the new staff and manager, etc. There are question marks for Chelsea and the ‘yes-or-nos’ to come in.
“Are things on hold? I think so.”
However, former Netherlands and Real Madrid boss Guus Hiddink still believes the west Londoners can put an end to the season in style. Earlier the Dutchman criticized the Blues team in his first press conference replacing Mourinho saying that its time for Chelsea flops to take a good look at themselves in the mirror. He even warned he will dump anyone who hasn’t got the “desire” to turn around the club’s frustrating campaign.
These are certainly strange times at Chelsea. With Jose Mourinho was gone and last season’s dream run also a distant future now, Chelsea somehow finds themselves in an unfamiliar territory.
Hobbling around near the bottom of the league table is not a favourable zone they are used to, yet this is the reality Guus Hiddink has stepped into and warned, the flop players must confront now to stay alive.