Hiddink targets FA Cup farewell present for Chelsea
Manager confirms he will be leaving at end of season, but he wants silverware first
Guus Hiddink has set his sights on giving Chelsea the perfect farewell as the Blues interim manager sets out on the road to Wembley in the FA Cup.
Hiddink confirmed this week that he will step down from his second spell as Chelsea caretaker once the current campaign comes to an end, but he is determined not to leave Stamford Bridge empty-handed.
With Chelsea’s chances of success in the Premier League long since ruined by their miserable first half of the season, Hiddink, who took charge after Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, has circled the dates of the FA Cup and Champions League finals in his diary.
Hiddink memorably ended his first spell as Chelsea’s interim boss by winning the 2009 FA Cup final against Everton and then flouting Wembley regulations by smoking a victorious cigar as the post-match celebrations began in the dressing room.
Ahead of third-tier Scunthorpe’s visit to the Bridge for Sunday’s third round tie, the Dutchman admitted he would relish a similar scenario in May.
“Fourth place in the Premier League is difficult. Then there are two targets left and one is the FA Cup,” Hiddink said.
“It’s a big target for this group of players to get it.
“I’ve put two dates in my mind which is May 21 and 28 and then it’s finished. Then I can go home on the 29.
“Those dates are the FA Cup final and Champions League final.”
Hiddink also confirmed that Oscar has apologised to Diego Costa for the challenge that sparked a training-ground confrontation between the pair on Thursday.
“It was a pity that our photographer yesterday had a day off because he could have shot beautiful pictures from the two, let’s say, bulls who were chesting a bit after a charge from behind from the smaller bull, which was Oscar,” said Hiddink.
“He [Costa] took a charge from behind and it was overdone, especially when you know Oscar. He is not the biggest tackler of the team and he got Diego.
“And of course, then they stumbled over the ground, stood up as a normal reaction and then chested a bit without any further seriousness or threat of punching or whatever. It was more the threat of two bulls.
“After that, Oscar apologised in front of the group. He wanted to speak. I said, ‘Take the podium.’ He apologised for his over-reacting and then they looked at each other and they started laughing. I think it’s OK.
“Jokes were made already afterwards, so it’s normal. We are used to playing on a high intensity. It happens, so it’s solved.”
Asked if either player might face punishment from the club, Hiddink replied: “No, no disciplinary action. If they solved this as they have done, then it’s perfect.”
Hiddink is more focused on dealing with the injury problems that will deprive him of the services of Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard, as well as strikers Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy, against Scunthorpe.
“I'm worried about his situation,” Hiddink said of Falcao’s latest injury setback.
“But in the upcoming games we have to show what we're capable of.”