Wednesday 19 September 2018

Hiddink vows to give youths a chance before exit

Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Photo: Reuters
Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Photo: Reuters

Guus Hiddink will put the development of Chelsea's young players above his own personal record as manager during the remainder of the season.

The champions, for some time now, have been unable to successfully defend their Premier League title and headed into Easter in the unusual position of contesting no silverware.

Perhaps with that in mind, Hiddink named an experimental side on Saturday against Aston Villa with Loftus-Cheek, who opened the scoring in the 4-0 victory, and Kenedy starting, as well as Loic Remy. Injuries to John Terry and Gary Cahill also saw 20-year-old American Matt Miazga make his full debut.

The Dutchman, who has lost only one of his 28 Premier League games in charge of Chelsea over his two spells as caretaker boss, would like to remain unbeaten in the league this season but vowed to use the remaining seven matches to give the likes of Loftus-Cheek valuable experience. "I always like to bring in the youngsters and now for the rest of the season we have the opportunity to bring in more frequently those guys," said Hiddink.

"It is good to see guys like Loftus-Cheek and (Jake) Clarke-Salter coming in. Of course, we can not win anything any more which makes it a little easier, so on the other hand it would be interesting to see guys like Loftus-Cheek come in and play when there is something at stake, with the pressure."

Goals either side of half-time from Alexandre Pato and Pedro killed off Villa, before Pedro completed the scoring with his second of the game just before the hour mark.

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