Wednesday 22 November 2017

Roman Abramovich visits Chelsea training to promise players a fresh start

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seeking a new manager
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seeking a new manager

Matt Law

Roman Abramovich has promised the Chelsea players a fresh start in a speech made to the entire first-team squad at the club’s Cobham training ground on Friday.

Chelsea owner Abramovich visited Chelsea’s Cobham base to outline his vision for the future and the reasons for sacking Jose Mourinho.

In a relatively short speech that was made with the help of a translator, Abramovich told the players that the dismissal of Mourinho heralded a fresh start for everybody at the beleaguered club.

He also confided that he had not wanted to sack Mourinho, but he felt he had no choice with the club just a point above the Premier League relegation zone going into Saturday’s game against Sunderland.

Abramovich had not been at the training ground on Thursday when Mourinho was sacked, but the pair may well have spoken on Friday as the Portuguese is understood to have returned to Cobham to collect the last of his things.

Other than speaking to the players and possibly Mourinho, Abramovich was due to hold detailed talks with Guus Hiddink, who arrived in London on Friday morning to discuss his appointment as short-term manager.

Hiddink will not be in charge of the team against Sunderland, but is expected to be in the Stamford Bridge stands to watch Steve Holland and Eddie Newton take the managerial responsibilities.

Chelsea are not anticipating any problems regarding the return of Hiddink, who won the FA Cup as Chelsea caretaker manager in 2009, but the Dutchman claimed he wanted to know more about the job before formally signing a contract.

“I need to know everything and take a good look, before I make my decision,” said Hiddink. “Certainly the technical side. I want as much information as possible.

“It can take hours or days for me to say yes or no. Yesterday, they only said goodbye (to Jose Mourinho). It is very fresh. Let me first speak to them first. Is it nice to be back? The Premier League is always fun."

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