Hiddink predicts success for Chelsea

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink

Guus Hiddink ended his second spell as Chelsea boss by predicting his successor Antonio Conte would return the club to the top of the Premier League.

A 1-1 draw with newly-crowned champions Leicester saw the Blues finish 10th, although they had been just one point clear of the relegation zone when he took over following Jose Mourinho’s dismissal.

Conte, currently in charge of Italy, will take over after Euro 2016, and Hiddink believes there won’t be a repeat of this season’s poor performances.

He said: “I have full confidence they will go up now in this period.

“They will make their analysis, their strategy and go up where they belong, and that is fighting for silverware and being in the fourth, third, second or first position.”

Conte will take over after the European Championship
Conte will take over after the European Championship

However, he also warned that the success of Leicester, Tottenham and West Ham this season could be replicated in future years, given the money available to teams following the bumper television deal which comes in to effect next season.

He said: “This season we were all very aware of what other clubs can do as well.

“We have seen Leicester, we have seen Tottenham, but we have also seen West Ham, who were playing very well, very attractively.

“Other clubs are knocking on the door and having more financial backing next season – and maybe with smart recruiting from the clubs, I don’t think it’s a done deal that the established clubs of the past are the established clubs for the future.”

Hiddink added he was pleased Chelsea were talking with John Terry about a one-year extension – the captain told fans after the game he wanted to remain at the club and further talks would be held next week.

“For me it’s not good to make speculation [but] it’s good when both parties are starting to talk,” said Hiddink. 

“I hope they will come to a solution, but that is a personal opinion.

“Although he is 35, he’s still physically and mentally very fit so he can contribute a lot wherever he wants to play.”