Hiddink determined not to rush Hazard back
Guus Hiddink has insisted he will take no chances with Eden Hazard’s fitness following the Chelsea star’s recent return from injury.
Hazard impressed after being given a starting place for Sunday’s FA Cup win at MK Dons, but Blues boss Hiddink waited until the 73rd minute to bring him on in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Watford.
The Belgian produced a lively cameo performance, setting up a late chance for Branislav Ivanovic, but Hiddink stood by the decision to be cautious.
“Eden played in the FA Cup for a longer period and he is coming back from a difficult time with two injuries,” Hiddink said. “We are being careful with him as we have a lot of games coming up now.
“I am happy with the way he played when he came on – the judgement is when to bring him on. We were in control and then we tried to get him to make the final punch, which he almost did.”
Chelsea will play 10 matches over the course of the next six weeks and Hiddink expects Hazard to play a more significant role as the player’s fitness improves.
“For Eden it’s good to go step by step, and we have a lot of games coming up when we need all the players,” he said.