Hiddink explains Baba substitution and praises Kenedy

Baba looks exciting but gave the ball away several times

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink admitted Baba Rahman’s mistake led to him being taken off at half-time against Southampton – and praised the hard work of replacement Kenedy.

Baba’s misjudged header presented Shane Long with Southampton’s opener and the summer signing did not re-emerge after the break.

Kenedy, 20, helped Chelsea fight back to beat the Saints 2-1, with late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic.

On Baba, Hiddink said: “I can easily say he was injured – but no, he was just taken off because of that [mistake].

“I don’t like to personalise it but we have in the recent past a big problem on the defensive execution in that part of our team.

Branislav Ivanovic scored Chelsea's winner at St Mary's
Branislav Ivanovic scored Chelsea’s winner at St Mary’s

“I can wait and wait [before making a change] but sometimes you have to be very harsh.

“I have to take control and not always wait with decisions, because I am responsible for the general result.

“I must say young Kenedy did his job very well when he came in.”

Hiddink was also pleased with the response his side gave to falling behind as they remained unbeaten in the Premier League since the Dutchman returned to the club just before Christmas.

He said: “We didn’t start very well. They were dominant in the first 20 minutes but I think we controlled the latter part of the first half.

“We gave them a present in the first half, a big present, but I think the team reacted very well.

“We maintained our composure and we tried to regain as soon as possible possession of the ball, which the team did.

“The desire was huge to get the result from negative to positive. The players must respond and they did.”