Hiddink on being a plumber, Abramovich watching training, Everton’s strengths, Pato, Hazard and more

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink was asked about a number of issues at his pre-match news conference ahead of this weekend’s home game against Everton. Here’s a rundown of what he had to say.

On Eden Hazard
“He has been on the (training) pitch working and I hope and think that he, in the upcoming week, will have full training sessions and then we’ll decide whether he can join us for the Arsenal game next weekend.

“We have to be a little bit careful that he doesn’t have another setback. That’s why I say he must have some tough training sessions. From Tuesday to Thursday he must have intense training sessions.”

On Loic Remy
“I’m happy that Remy is now working a full week with high intensity and if needed he can be on the pitch. That’s a little bit new for me and that’s good. As long as this is happening, we are not very active in doing other things [signing strikers].”

Remy recently returned to the squad after injury
Remy recently returned to the squad after injury

On Chelsea’s league position affecting signings
“It’s a very realistic view. Chelsea has to deal with that and also there might be the influence of [having] a new manager.

“That’s a question mark for Chelsea, [whether players say] yes or no to come in, that’s true. That’s the reality for Chelsea nowadays. Is everything on hold for this month? I think so.”

On Roman Abramovich attending training – and whether it makes players raise their game
“That would say that they don’t do their ultimate intensive play during the other training sessions. He likes to watch and the players act very normal – nothing special.”

On Radamel Falcao
“For him it’s important to play. Because if you see his recent past, here and also at Man U, not playing, that’s difficult for the player. So he must look for the circumstances where he can play.”

Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao
Falcao has been tipped to leave Chelsea this month

On the perilous league position
“There is a 12-point difference to fourth place, which is Tottenham, and six points from the relegation line. So we have to work hard and gather our points to step up. That’s why it was a pity we [only] got the draw against West Brom – which would have helped us a lot. We were one point off the relegation line [when he arrived] and now we have a little bit more [room to] breathe.”

“We have two difficult games coming. Everton have a very good away record – I think nine out of the last 10 games they have got a result – and then Arsenal. And if you don’t gather the points there, we don’t know what the others will do. The Premier League can surprise you.”

On Diego Costa
“He is playing on the edge but also the opponents are playing on the edge. There is always these delicate provocations. Players are smart enough to do what they think they must do. You see little touches [on Diego], so it’s mutual. But nevertheless he should control [himself]. I talk about this with him this morning, just for a few minutes. The opponents like to provoke a bit but he has to deal with that. The referee has to deal with that. He didn’t go out of order [against West Brom], but was on the edge. I don’t think on Wednesday there was a reason to send him off.”

Costa has returned to form since Hiddink's appointment as boss
Costa has returned to form since Hiddink’s appointment as boss

On Costa punching the tunnel wall
“One of my previous jobs, before I got into management, was as a plumber and a builder. I checked it out the day after and I didn’t see anything, just little scratches on a plastic wall. It was an expression of frustration and not winning – no big deal.”

On being linked with Alexandre Pato
“We have Diego, we have Remy back, we have youngsters who can fill up the gap. So we are not in that [market for strikers] at the moment.”

On Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban
“All big clubs are looking to big players. I don’t know whether they cannot use this transfer window and the summer transfer window or if it will be postponed. But I don’t expect much in this window.”

On Everton
“They like to play from their back four. They do that in a very clever way. Their midfield is experienced. They have the danger of their wide players coming inside. They have strikers [Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone] who are very penetrative in the danger area. It’s a team who can play football. It will be a very difficult but very attractive match.”