Guus Hiddink believes Eden Hazard is doing everything in his power to recapture his best form as the Blues look to finish the season on a positive note.
The FA Cup, in which we take on Everton this evening with a semi-final place at stake, is now our sole opportunity to secure a trophy, but the manager has also demanded the side put together a positive sequence of results in order to hopefully secure European qualification through the league table.
Hazard, who was substituted with an injury against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, is available to play at Goodison Park, and while the Belgian has featured regularly this season Hiddink doesn’t feel as though he has been over-worked.
‘When they have too much repetition of high intensity work there is a zone where they are coming into fatigue,’ he explained. ‘When you go into that zone the risk of injury is higher. We’ve experienced it with Pedro, he was suffering a bit with fatigue and had some problems.
‘Eden also had that problem a few weeks ago when he was coming back from his injury but now the risk isn’t as big anymore, which suggests he can work on. Now the point is how we do that going forward for a period of time, starting or not starting (matches).’
Hazard's character is that little appears to faze the winger either on or off the pitch, but Hiddink says observers shouldn’t mistake his relaxed demeanour for someone who doesn’t give his all when it comes to producing performances and winning matches.
‘Everybody has his own charisma,’ said the Dutchman. ‘If you see Diego Costa he’s very outspoken, you know when he’s angry. Eden is a different character.
‘People have different expressions, it doesn’t mean he’s not involved and that’s where we need to sympathise with him. He’s committed and that’s why I defend him. He’s concerned and knows he has to deliver more.’
Hiddink explains the best way to help players who are perhaps struggling to influence matches in a manner they may have done previously.
‘Most of the time you try to get them back into the feeling of spontaneous actions, not thinking too much and going back to what they’re good at.
‘The last percentage of getting him to top fitness will help as well.’