With Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas being under intense scrutiny following poor performances this season, Guus Hiddink has spoken in favour of the Spanish duo in the pre-match press conference.

Costa and Fabregas were the two key players who led Chelsea to the title last season, after they were recruited in the summer of 2014 by Jos Mourinho. However, Costa’s goals have been replaced by only a seemingly constant urge to get under the opponent’s skin, and Fabregas’s assists and magic in midfield seems to have dried up.

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Hiddink eases pressure off Costa

Although Costa has been quite unimpressive so far this season, Hiddink is confident that he will hit form in the coming weeks.

“Diego is focusing very much on his job and that’s a lot of responsibility. He’s brave and he likes to be like that. It’s a lot of responsibility, but not just on Diego,” the Dutchman was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail

“He has a big temper and wants to perform and is keen to score, but the other attacking players must play a part in assists and goals. It’s not just him.”

Backs Cesc Fabregas

Hiddink dismissed claims of Fabregas not being able command his position, and insisted it is unfair to blame the former Barcelona man for Chelsea’s slump.

“I think we are focusing too much on Cesc in this regard. The whole team weren’t doing well until December. It’s not just one player.

“When you look at the goals conceded, that’s not just our defence that is not good enough. It’s the whole team’s performance. I don’t want to focus on just one player who might need a bit more strength or whatever to get back into shape.”

How Hiddink would love to start the year with a victory!

Chelsea’s first match of 2016 sees them travel to Selhurst Park where they take on 5th placed Crystal Palace in the Premier league on Sunday.

2015 was a year that Chelsea fans will have mixed emotions about, as they experienced extreme highs and lows. However, things have changed at the club in terms of their personnel, and interim manager Guus Hiddink would love to start the new year with a victory.