Hiddink quiet on Ancelotti rumours
Guus Hiddink insists he does not know whether Carlo Ancelotti will be the man to replace him as Chelsea manager but will look back on his own time at Stamford Bridge with pride.
The AC Milan coach is tipped to replace the Dutchman amid suggestions that a statement is expected from Ancelotti over the weekend. Chelsea however, say there are no plans at present to make any kind of weekend announcement, and it is difficult to see Ancelotti being allowed to do so without permission from the Blues if, indeed, any agreement has been reached.
Hiddink has transformed Chelsea since he took over from sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari in February and he will take charge of a Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge for the final time on Sunday. The Blues entertain Blackburn in their last home game of the season and the sense of occasion has not been lost on Hiddink.
"When I started in February, I was fully committed to do my job. But, having had the response of everyone - the players, the staff, the public - it gives me a lot of satisfaction," he said. "It's not easy to say goodbye. But let's not be too dramatic. Unofficially, I will keep my connection with the club. By supporting them, by coming to visit every now and then.
"Sadness is not the right word. I'm not going to cry," Hiddink joked. "I don't know my emotions. I have enjoyed very much working at this club, with these players. To be honest, when I started, I thought I'd have to fight a lot with the status of players. I though there was a pre-set mind that they would be untouchable, but we touched each other. I'm proud of that. Now we split, so there's a feeling of respect. Not regret, but respect."
But while Hiddink prepares to say farewell to the fans at the Bridge, much of the talk ahead of the game continues to surround his successor. The interim coach insists that while he knows "in general" what is going on, he remains adamant the choice of his successor is Chelsea's business alone.
"There are names, but we haven't spoken about names," revealed Hiddink. "It's up to them. It's none of my business. They have to go forward and there's no responsibility whatsoever on their side to inform me. They are doing so but I don't need to be informed every day. Generally, I know a bit what is going on. I can tell you, but I won't."
Hiddink will say a final goodbye to the club after the FA Cup final against Everton at Wembley on 20 May. But with United on the brink of retaining the title and Chelsea assured of third place at least, Hiddink insists that motivating his players will not be an issue against Blackburn or in their final league game away at Sunderland.
"We have to do the serious approach which we do with every game," said Hiddink. "The lads like to play football and they must play good games against Blackburn and Sunderland. We stay on our toes regarding our concentration until the end of May. We have to play the game the way we like to play the game. That's another motivation. If players see the stadium and the people there, every player who is not motivated in those circumstances is not worthy to start in the first XI."
Steven Gerrard was named Player of the Year by the Football Writers this week despite another exceptional season from Frank Lampard at Chelsea. However, Hiddink says Gerrard's success was justified.
"Gerrard deserved it fully, what he was nominated for," said Hiddink. "He had a tremendous season, not just in his efficiency on the pitch, but also in his appearance as a professional player. He is very warm-hearted towards his club. You could say the same for Frank Lampard. He is well respected all over England."