'Chelsea is in transition' - Guus Hiddink on Chelsea's European exit
Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink admitted he did not know when his club would be back in the Champions League after they crashed out to Paris Saint-Germain at the last-16 stage for a second successive season.
A 2-1 defeat in the second leg of the tie secured a 4-2 aggregate win for the French champions, which all-but ensures that Chelsea will not compete in Europe’s elite competition for the first time since Roman Abramovich took ownership of the club in 2003.
The latest night of disappointment for the Blues inspired Hiddink to suggest the squad he will relinquish control of at the end of this season are now set for an uncertain future as they look to rebuild after a traumatic campaign that has seen them surrender their Premier League and sack manager Jose Mourinho.
“They have to see how to go on and try to regain the lost terrain where Chelsea used to be. Chelsea must consider its short(-term) future, how to handle this,” stated Hiddink in his press conference with the written media.
“Chelsea is now in a transition period and must see how they go on and regain the lost terrain where they used to be.”
Hiddink also offered his thoughts on the abuse directed at Eden Hazard, after he was jeered by sections of the Stamford Bridge faithful as he was taken off late in the tie after another hugely disappointing display.
“They had the right to do what they think,” said the Chelsea boss. “I don’t want to say too much about that. He had a problem with an injury, which is why we took him off.”
Hazard also came under fire as he swapped shirts with PSG star Angel Di Maria at half-time, with Hiddink accepting his player had made a mistake in the over-friendly gesture.
“It should not be done, but in some countries it is usual after a game or at half-time, and maybe they are both used to doing it,” he stated.
“I don’t want to see a bad thought behind that. It’s not a big issue. I don’t overvalue this issue. There’s no bad intention.”