Chelsea manager praises team’s “dirty” performance against Palace

Guus Hiddink delighted with application of Jon Obi Mikel and Oscar as Chelsea run out 3-0 winners

Chelsea manager praises team’s “dirty” performance against Palace

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January 4th, 2016

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Chelsea supporters have not really enjoyed the current campaign although those in attendance at Selhurst Park on Sunday saw the champions produce the sort of performance that enabled them to win the title comfortably last term.

Jose Mourinho has since left what had become a toxic dressing room environment, although Guus Hiddink seems to be getting the right sort of mentality from the players and the Dutchman was full of praise after his team’s 3-0 win.

Hiddink admitted that the team needed to improve the overall work ethic, with special praise afforded to Jon Obi Mikel and Oscar for their battling performances, with Eden Hazard being withdrawn early in the clash.

“If a team is not doing well for a very long period, it is rather human to look for security,” Hiddink said. “That is why we have emphasised the good, hard work, tactically and in a defensive way.

“We don’t need to add a lot to the quality of the players. When they get the ball, they know how to play. But they have to know that once things are not going as wished, we have to look for causes. That is why we started working. The very talented players, they start working to invest in what I call the ‘dirty work’ and not just the beautiful game that they can play.

“This league is very demanding. And if you think that you can do it just on your quality, which is given by nature, then this league is killing you. They start working. Oscar starts working, also. Oscar was doing what is not his big quality. He was tackling a bit.

“It’s balance,” Hiddink said. “If we have three very creative players [in midfield] … it’s possible but in this league, it’s difficult. That’s why we look for the balance. John Obi is the ideal player to bring balance back to the team.

“Previously Chelsea conceded a lot of goals and you can say that the four defenders are not going their jobs. But if the team is not willing to defend well, or does not have the right balance, then you concede a lot of goals. John Obi can recover the ball and he reads the game very well. A player who can defend so smoothly, for me, is beautiful to see.”

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