Guus Hiddink said he was disappointed not to have taken all three points following our 2-2 draw against Watford, but the Dutchman, who was overseeing his first game since taking charge until the end of the season, praised the spirit of the side.
The Blues had taken the lead through Diego Costa just after the half-hour mark, but 10 minutes later Watford equalised when Troy Deeney converted from the penalty spot after Nemanja Matic had handled.
The visitors then took the lead in the second half courtesy of a deflected Odion Ighalo strike, before Diego Costa - who will miss Monday’s game at Manchester United through suspension after picking up a late booking - restored parity with his second goal of the match after latching on to an incisive Willian pass.
We were presented with a wonderful opportunity to win it when the returning Eden Hazard, a second-half substitute, was brought down inside the box, but as Oscar stepped forward to take the resulting penalty he lost his footing, slipped and sent his kick high over the bar.
‘Of course when we are near the end of the game and have a penalty for what I think was a deserved 3-2 it’s a setback in terms of three points, but we have to analyse the whole game and Watford deserve great respect,’ said Hiddink.
‘They are on a winning sequence for many weeks with clean sheets and I have a lot of respect for the way they play tactically, they have very good strikers. It was an intense game, we conceded some unlucky goals – the first one was a penalty and the second was deflected - but I’m a little bit disappointed we didn’t get three points.
‘It was important the team reacted after going 2-1 down, especially against a defensive and very well organised Watford. The reaction was also important regarding the recent past at the club as well.’
Hiddink was pleased with the performance of two-goal Diego Costa
‘He focused on what he’s good at and he’s very dangerous, that’s important, not wasting extra energy where you shouldn’t. He did that with two goals perfectly.
‘He’s out (on Monday) which means we have to think how to solve that problem. It’s a pity after a good performance, we have to solve that in 48 hours.
‘Don’t overestimate the influence of managers. You try to give people focus. Sometimes you go into training and tell them to focus on what they have to do, you do that in meetings and training sessions. When everyone knows what he’s capable of, and knows what trap he must not go into, whether it’s caused by yourself or somebody else, then you focus on your job. He showed that today with two terrific goals.’
He explained his reasons for taking Cesc Fabregas off at half-time
‘Today I liked our intensity but we also have to look for a balance in the team. It’s a very attacking-orientated team.
‘When we have a midfield with all creative players it’s beautiful but sometimes you need a balance and I thought John Obi gave us that balance. When you have the creative players such as Matic, Oscar, Willian coming inside and Cesc as well, sometimes you have to choose in a different way.’
- Guus Hiddink talking to Chelsea TV after the game can be watched below and there is more post-match reaction in the Video on Demand section.