Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CHELSEA STARS SAY 'GET GUUS IN NOW'; ?SENIOR PLAYERS WANT TO SEE HIDDINK BACK AT BRIDGE Chelsea Stars Say 'Get Guus in Now'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CHELSEA STARS SAY 'GET GUUS IN NOW'; ?SENIOR PLAYERS WANT TO SEE HIDDINK BACK AT BRIDGE Chelsea Stars Say 'Get Guus in Now'

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

SENIOR Chelsea players want Guus Hiddink to return to Stamford Bridge as manager and save the club's season.

Standard Sport understands some of the squad have lost faith with boss Andre Villas-Boas and believe only Hiddink can turn their campaign around.

Chelsea have slumped to fifth in the Premier League after winning just two of their last 10 matches and face vital games in the next week against Birmingham in the FA Cup fifth round and away to Napoli in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

Villas-Boas is under huge pressure and while the club publicly insist his position is not in jeopardy, owner Roman Abramovich's patience appears to be running out.

Villas-Boas's tactics were questioned by some senior players during a stormy meeting at the training ground on Sunday, which Abramovich attended, after Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Everton.

Abramovich hired Hiddink three years ago this month after losing faith in Luiz Felipe Scolari. As is the case now, the club's place in the top four was at risk but Hiddink guided them to third in the League, as well as the Champions League semi-final and won the FA Cup after beating Everton at Wembley and many of the players wanted him to stay.

However, he was also in charge of Russia's World Cup qualifying campaign and went back to that job full-time.

The relationship he forged with the squad has never been forgotten and there are individuals who want Abramovich to re-hire him.

However, the billionaire faces major competition for his services should he sack Villas-Boas and attempt to put the Dutchman in charge.

The 65-year-old is available, having resigned as Turkey coach in November after failing to secure qualification for Euro 2012.

But it is understood he wants his next job to be a permanent role and wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala as well as PSV Eindhoven, who he has managed twice before, are interested in him. …

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