Chelsea more relaxed under Guus Hiddink, says Ray Wilkins
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 05/01/16 2:01pm
Chelsea's dressing room will be a much more relaxed environment under Guus Hiddink compared to predecessor Jose Mourinho, says Ray Wilkins.
Hiddink returned to Stamford Bridge for a second interim spell in charge following the sacking of Mourinho in December.
Wilkins, a former player, coach and assistant manager at the club, served as Hiddink's assistant in 2009 and believes the Dutchman's more "jovial" approach would be in contrast to Mourinho's intensity.
"I never worked with Jose Mourinho, but having had the pleasure of working with Guus, if the atmosphere was intense under Jose it will be completely the opposite with Guus," Wilkins told Sky Sports News HQ.
"He will demand they train well and demand they play to a very high standard but the training will be of a very jovial fashion.
"I think you have seen him interviewed on numerous occasions and he's made it quite clear he wants them to work extremely hard and if they don't have the application then go and have a conversation with him and it will be a short conversation. Straight away, he wants them to work hard but it will be fun all the way with Guus."
Hiddink has been appointed until the end of the season, as he was in 2009 following the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari, and Wilkins feels Chelsea's Champions League progress could play a big part in whether the 69-year-old decides to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the current campaign.
"Last time he was here he was adamant it was from the February through to the end of the season," Wilkins said.
"But when he was interviewed at the weekend he didn't rule out the fact that he wouldn't be here next year so it would be interesting to see how they go, first and foremost, because they have started well under Guus but they have got to progress and do really well.
"The Champions League is vitally important for him as well with a very tough couple of games coming up against Paris Saint-Germain."
Chelsea are unbeaten in three games under Hiddink and Wilkins thinks the re-introduction of John Obi Mikel in midfield has helped Cesc Fabregas, while Diego Costa has now scored three goals in his last two games after struggling for form this season.
"John Obi played against Crystal Palace on Sunday and was absolutely outstanding," Wilkins said. "His discipline for a holding midfielder, he never wanders from that area of the field, and it allowed Fabregas to get away and do what he wanted to do and that was perform and to hurt Crystal Palace with the ball.
"Fabregas is a far better footballer higher up the pitch where he can hurt people because his passing is absolutely exquisite, but having that safety net of John Obi Mikel really helped him a lot.
"Costa, for me, when he goes outside the box can be a bit of a liability because I don't think he's a fantastic footballer. What he is, he's a fantastic poacher of a goal and when he gets himself in between the goalposts he's a danger, he's a threat."
But Wilkins believes a top four finish is beyond Chelsea after their disappointing start to the season.
"I don't think they can do it, but mathematically they can, and Guus is the most positive man on the planet," he said.
"The next games they play are West Brom and Everton, both home games, both with teams who are above them and they have an opportunity to take six points so it is going to be a very interesting period."