Cech receives Hiddink support
Guus Hiddink has denied goalkeeper Petr Cech has lost confidence as the season climax approaches.
Last Updated: 17/04/09 5:23pm
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has denied goalkeeper Petr Cech has lost confidence as the season climax approaches.
The Blues head into Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal hoping to shore up their defence after leaking seven goals in their last two games.
Chelsea hung on for a 4-3 win against Bolton last week after conceding three late goals and Cech looked uncomfortable throughout the 4-4 UEFA Champions League draw with Liverpool in midweek, admitting he was at fault for two of the goals.
But Hiddink defended the usually unflappable Czech keeper and insists his recent errors are already behind him.
The Dutch coach also rubbished a report he has advised Chelsea to sign Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes, who he signed for PSV Eindhoven in 2004.
"It's news to me and has no single grain of truth in it," he said.
"My thoughts on Petr are very positive because since I've been here he has done very good goalkeeping work.
"We don't neglect the reality because we want to get better but Petr is an intelligent person and knows that he had one or two moments when it was not going as he wished. That's it.
"When a goalkeeper makes a mistake there's always direct consequences.
"Every now and then a keeper has the right to make an error and then we move on.
"I haven't said to Petr 'come here because we need to talk for three hours'. We did our analysis afterwards and that was it.
"We didn't want to over-emphasise it. He hasn't lost confidence. I've seen him in previous games and now in these matches.
"We don't want to over-focus on what went wrong but we must look at what he is able to do. He's smiling and relaxed in training."
Hiddink believes the Liverpool game was exceptional circumstances and is confident his players have learnt from the recent deluge of goals at Stamford Bridge.
"I'm not worried about the defence because before these games we had many clean sheets and the whole team was defending well," he said.
"The Bolton game last weekend shows that no team can neglect the opposition and play in a rather nonchalant or unconsidered way as we did in that match.
"The Liverpool game was played at a fast pace right until the end and there were lots of chances for both sides."