Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Boss Hiddink Quickly Fires Up the Spirit of Jose; the Character of the Mourinho Era Returns to Chelsea as the Dutchman Gets the Blues Fighting for Each Other Once Again. by Simon Johnson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Boss Hiddink Quickly Fires Up the Spirit of Jose; the Character of the Mourinho Era Returns to Chelsea as the Dutchman Gets the Blues Fighting for Each Other Once Again. by Simon Johnson

Article excerpt

IN A week where Jose Mourinho is aiming to make a big impact on English football once again, it seems appropriate that Chelsea have produced their first special performance for some time.

Under Guus Hiddink there were certain similarities to the Mourinho era on show as the Blues produced an impressive 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

A fired-up Didier Drogba, an inspirational Frank Lampard and a demonstrable team spirit culminated in a post-match huddle on the pitch followed by the throwing of some shirts to the travelling supporters in the stands.

Such images were common place as Chelsea won two titles in the Mourinho era yet these are the fruits of just one week of Hiddink's labours.

The Dutchman (right), though, has limited time to make a difference if his claims of taking charge for just the rest of the season are to be believed.

The 4-3-3 formation he employed to get Chelsea's first win at Villa Park for 10 years also had a familiar look to it having been used by his predecessor Luiz Felipe Scolari as well as Mourinho.

However, crucially, the work rate, speed of attack and character resembled life under Mourinho rather than Scolari and for that he has to take credit.

Chelsea's season looked doomed only two weeks ago after the dismal goalless draw at home to Hull.

The dressing room appeared only united in concern over Scolari's methods and tactical decisions.

The fact the men in blue looked so rejuvenated was due to Hiddink's input at the training ground as much as the filip a new manager usually brings.

Lampard said: "We have worked hard in the week and the new manager has put some new ideas over to us.

"It meant we went into the game with a lot of confidence. In training we've worked very hard on passing the ball quickly and being organised.

"There was a little bit of the old Chelsea out there, that spirit and the way we played. …

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