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Monday 5 December 2016

Hiddink issues a Hazard warning

Chelsea boss demands more effort from Belgian after Keane criticism

Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has been told to improve his form by interim boss Guus Hiddink. Photo: PA
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has been told to improve his form by interim boss Guus Hiddink. Photo: PA
Guus Hiddink has claimed he wants more from Eden Hazard after Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane lambasted the Belgian. Photo: Reuters
Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile

Guus Hiddink says a toiling Eden Hazard needs to do more for Chelsea.

The Chelsea interim manager yesterday refused to react to Roy Keane's withering critique of Hazard, who was Chelsea's leading performer in last season's Premier League and League Cup successes.

The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain, and current assistant to Ireland boss Martin O'Neill this week told ITV: "If I was a team-mate of his I would kick him up and down the training pitch."

Hazard's place in Chelsea's starting XI could be in doubt for tomorrow's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Manchester City, when John Terry will again be absent with a hamstring injury.

The 25-year-old has struggled for form this season, scoring once.

He has only recently returned from a groin injury and was substituted during Tuesday's Champions League loss at Paris St Germain.

"It's not about just attitude," Hiddink said. "He was in a difficult situation, but he has to step up. He knows that.

"We had our talks with him, every now and then small conversations (about) how to step up to the next level. That's what his wish is. I hope that he will step up as soon as possible.

"Sometimes he has (shown) what he is able to do. I remember once he had a sprint on our right hand side (against PSG).

"That's the old Hazard and we hope to see that more frequently.

"He's showing once, but he can show more. He's aware of that. Now it's up to him to step up."

Hazard on Monday, the eve of the Champions League tie, spoke of it being difficult to turn down a move to PSG, although he reiterated he was under contract until 2020.

Hiddink has no reason to suspect the Belgian in agitating for a move.

"He's very keen to be here, he's extended his contract, his family is happy here," Hiddink added.

Contract

"There was no sign from his side to say 'no, I'm eager to go'. None whatsoever. He's happy. He likes to step up as well."

Terry missed Chelsea's the last-16 first-leg loss at Parc des Princes with a hamstring problem sustained in last Saturday's Premier League win over Newcastle.

The 35-year-old skipper's next appearance will be his 700th for Chelsea, who maintain a contract offer might be forthcoming after Terry revealed he would be leaving Stamford Bridge when his current deal expires at the end of the season. "He will not be fit for this weekend," Hiddink said.

"I saw him this morning. He was with the physios yesterday, trying a bit on the pitch.

"But still too many problems to be fit for the weekend."

Hiddink hopes Terry will be available for the Premier League game at Southampton on February 27.

The Dutchman added: "We have a week, I hope next weekend he will be available.

"I cannot predict it. I think we have to be a bit cautious with him as well, because he likes to be there every day."

Kurt Zouma (knee) is out for the season so Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill are likely to continue in central defence.

City have lost to Leicester and Tottenham in recent weeks and Manuel Pellegrini has threatened to field a weakened team in protest at the scheduling of the FA Cup fixture, which comes ahead of his side's trip to Dynamo Kiev.

"A big team always reacts," Hiddink said.

"We are warned. Let's see what happens Sunday."

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