Guus Hiddink was asked about a number of issues at his news conference on Friday ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup tie against MK Dons. Here’s a rundown of what the Chelsea interim boss had to say.
On Diego Costa’s form
“I don’t know what he did in the previous 20-plus games. What I know is what he’s doing now and I’m very pleased with him.
“I’m pleased of course with his efficiency in making the goals. We’re depending a lot on him – too much sometimes, I think.
“But I’m very happy with his performance, I’m very happy with his attitude. He’s a key figure for us at the moment. He’s focusing on his job and he’s of huge importance for us.”
On John Terry’s future
“He’s bringing a lot of leadership, which is very important for the team. Regarding his future at Chelsea, we have to wait and see what will happen. That’s a little bit early.”
On Gary Cahill
“He is of big value and he will prove that in the upcoming time. Of course, if players are not playing frequently then they must get a bit frustrated. I talked to him a few days ago about the situation, which I like to do always with my key players.
“He was very open and very clear that he loves to stay at this club. There was no single space left by him to say ‘I’m not happy’.
“He’s very happy here but of course not playing gives a little bit of frustration, which is normal. But I like very much his attitude in training, he never gives up, and that always will be rewarded. There was no hint from his side of ‘can I leave the club?’, nothing.
“He’s very happy and he’s of value. As far as I’m concerned, I will have him in the upcoming months and I think the club will have him in the upcoming years.
“Recently he renewed his contract which is a signal that he loves the club. Some players have a little period where they don’t play frequently. But in the multitude of games, everyone will get minutes.
“There are, coming up, a lot of games, in the FA Cup, in the league and also the Champions League. So we have to think very, very cleverly how to get everyone fit and keep everyone fit, that’s important.”
On how winning in the FA Cup can help Premier League form
“Every win helps, even in training where we always play to win. The attitude now is there to give everything in every duel, as a team and as an individual. So it will help, of course.
“The first step now is [to get a win] next Sunday and I think the team is eager then to go into the Wednesday game [at Watford].
“A club like Chelsea must always go for a trophy. That was the target in the past with the Premier League and also with the Champions League and FA Cup. We are not here to pass the time. The FA Cup is of course a target.
“The FA Cup is important for us [so] we don’t think at this moment about next Wednesday’s game at Watford.”
On the psychological effect of beating Arsenal
“There’s always something extra when Arsenal and Chelsea have this confrontation, especially at the Emirates. The statistics [of past results] were in favour of Chelsea.
“But the way we performed over there, even when it was 11 against 11, we tried to get them as soon as possible high [up the pitch], with the high pressing, and we tried to make an early score, which was almost successful with Willian. The result was encouraging for the team and its confidence.”
On aiming for fourth place
“It’s theoretically, mathematically still possible and as long as it’s a possibility we will go for that. But we also aim at our other targets [FA Cup and Champions League].
“When you look at the table just before Christmas the team was one point off the relegation zone. We recovered a bit, and made some steps with draws. Now hopefully we can make some steps with some victories. But then we’re still not on top of this league, where Chelsea should be, always competing for positions four to one.”
On the signing of Alexandre Pato
“He is in London, he was well spotted. Nowadays there are no secrets because cameras are everywhere. We don’t want to hide. He’s now in the process of bureaucratic paperwork and we’ll see how soon it will be solved.
“When he comes in he has to settle down and get used to the very demanding league. He was a promising youngster, and also a very stylish player. He had a few years at Milan.
“After that he did not make a big step in Europe, he went back to Brazil. So now he thinks he’s got another chance to make a step in Europe, in England, which is a brave step. We will help him to get fit and to see what he can bring to this club.
“It’s not a gamble. Coming on loan makes it possible to have a good view on him, whether he’s able to adapt to the high demands of the club and the league. We [will] give him all the support in this but it’s up to him.
“If you buy those players then it’s more of a risk. On loan it’s good for everyone, to see whether he is happy at this club and whether the club is happy with him after his few months.
“He cannot, I think, be fully fit yet so we will have to get him as soon as possible on a good high physical level.”
On whether Juan Cuadrado’s loan to Juventus will be made permanent
“Not in this moment. We’ll see what will happen. That’s for the upcoming months and what the club’s philosophy and strategy is regarding the new season.”
On Loic Remy’s future
“He’s injured for the moment, he has a slight injury on his calf. We’ll see what will happen in the upcoming days. I don’t think being injured has any influence on him staying or going.”
On why Ramires was allowed to leave
“First of all, I think we must pay him tribute. He had very good performances in the past, with important contributions.
“He is 28 and was having this huge offer from a club in China. The club talked about that and [decided to] give him what he could get in China.
“He was not playing frequently but the club had the attitude to reward him and give him this beautiful transfer.”
On new signing Matt Miazga
“We’re not rushing [him] but he will be one of the squad members for the future. He will be in for the rest of the season. [He is] a young guy, stepping up to the national team.
“When a player’s here you can see what they are capable of in training. [He is a] promising player, let’s see if he can adapt himself to the high demands of this club and the Premier League.”
On his input into January signings
“I try to restrict myself to focusing on the Premier League and the other two aims we have. I’m not much into next season, who they must hire or buy or sell, or whatever.”
And on the January transfer window itself
“When it’s ending on Monday, then everything will be more relaxed and more quiet. There will be, in the latest hours, some transactions but when it’s over everyone can focus on what they have to do.”