Hiddink: Controlled anger

Guus Hiddink believes one of the biggest lessons the Chelsea players can take from our 1-1 draw against Stoke is the need to be on top of our game from the very first minute when we host Paris Saint-Germain.

The manager was disappointed with the way we started against the Potters, but does not have any concerns there will be a repeat of that on Wednesday night.

‘We started without any “wrestling” in the first 15 or 20 minutes – we were sloppy technically, even some players who normally are not, so I think there was a lack of concentration in the first part of the game. Then we tried to get our players angry so they would react and it resulted in a good goal from Traore.

‘In the first half we had to get angry at our own players – we tried to wind them up so they feel when they are making the errors. Some players needed a wake-up call.

‘We will need to be angry from the start on Wednesday, but in a controlled way. The players must be fully concentrated because we are playing a class team and they will punish you if you start sloppy.

‘In those big games, you cannot guarantee that players won’t make errors, but regarding the concentration level and the attention level, that’s automatic – I don’t have any fear of that. As a manager, you have more worries – with all respect for the opponent – when you are playing a team lower in the league. I am not talking about Stoke because they are above us, but when you have to play in the FA Cup early rounds, for instance, you have to wake up the team.’

With the Blues trailing 2-1 from the first leg, and having suffered a disappointing first half of the campaign, Hiddink believes our opponents on Wednesday are favourites to progress, although he is backing his players to give their all to turn the tie around.  

‘We are underdogs, also with the season Chelsea is experiencing, especially in the first half. Now the players have regained confidence, but we are not the favourites. You see the PSG team – we also have quality – but they can rest five, six, seven players [at the weekend]. We will be a very tough underdog.’

Referring to the difference in the quality of opponents Chelsea face in the Premier League in comparison to the French top flight, Hiddink adds: ‘We are tested every week, that is true, but they have so much experience in their team – they are all international players.’

Hiddink also has an update on the fitness of three players who missed the Stoke game, beginning with Diego Costa, who he expects to be fit for our must-win Champions League fixture.

‘He had a little bit of a problem with a tendon. He could have started, to be honest, but then the risk was there and afterwards I might be left saying, “Why did I risk him?”’

He is less hopeful of John Terry returning in time, with the team aiming to keep a clean sheet for the first time since Watford away at the start of February.

‘Of course, we analyse all goals against us,' says the manager. 'We’ve had some sloppy moments. It’s not worrying as long as you score more goals. We’d like to have all our defensive players available, but I don’t think John will make Wednesday.

‘For the time being there has not been enough development to put him on the list on Wednesday. It’s not worse – he can run, but he still cannot go into a longer stretch which you do when you accelerate – there he must be careful.’

Kenedy also missed Saturday’s game with the small problem suffered at Norwich, but Hiddink is expecting the Brazilian to train and will assess him on Tuesday at the latest.