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    Chelsea confirm Hiddink as coach

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    Quiver
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    Chelsea confirm Hiddink as coach

    Post by Quiver on Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:52 am

    Chelsea have announced that Guus Hiddink will take over as temporary coach until the end of the season.

    The Premier League club have also revealed that the 62-year-old Dutchman will meet the players later this week.

    "The club would like to take this opportunity to thank the Russian Football Union for their understanding and cooperation," said a statement.

    Hiddink, who will continue to coach the Russian national side, replaces Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was axed on Monday.

    The former PSV Eindhoven and Real Madrid coach is currently in Turkey with the Russia squad and is likely to be a spectator at Chelsea's FA Cup fifth round tie at Watford on Saturday, with the Premier League clash at Aston Villa on 21 February expected to be his first in charge.

    "It's never enough time to prepare a team in one week but this is an exceptional situation," Hiddink added. "Chelsea have good players and they should be in top form and that should make my job easier."

    The Blues lie fourth in the table, seven points adrift of leaders Manchester United, who have a game in hand, with assistant Ray Wilkins coaching the team on an interim basis.

    Hiddink, contracted to Russia until the end of the 2010 World Cup, said before his appointment that he only intended to help out until the end of the season.

    "It's a favour for a friend," said the former Netherlands, South Korea and Australia coach, who has close ties to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

    "Abramovich does so much for Russian football that I wanted to give something back. He called me personally."

    When asked about the possibility of continuing beyond this season at Stamford Bridge, Hiddink said: "There are two scenarios: it goes bad and they say 'go back east' or it goes well, but I'm not thinking that far ahead.

    "There will be no damage for the Russian national team, we focus now and in the future on the Russian team."

    Russia have two World Cup qualifiers over the course of the rest of the Premier League season - at home to minnows Azerbaijan on 28 March and away to Liechtenstein four days later.

    With Chelsea struggling for form, Hiddink revealed he planned to contact his predecessor Scolari within the next two days to discuss team matters.

    Hiddink said he would not be bringing in new assistants "at this time" and regarding playing personnel, he added: "I always want to see the situation in the team myself first before making any changes if they have to be made."

    Billionaire Abramovich, who agreed a compensation package with Scolari and his backroom staff on Tuesday, was instrumental in Hiddink's appointment as Russia manager in 2006, and the pair have since maintained close ties.

    AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti is considered the favourite to take over on a permanent basis next summer.

    Hiddink is the third Dutchman to take charge of a Premier League club after Ruud Gullit (Chelsea, Newcastle) and Martin Jol (Tottenham) and is the seventh foreign manager at Chelsea.

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