Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink insisted after his team’s defeat to Swansea that he prefers giving opportunities to fringe players in the home stretch of the season even if it means increasing the risk of losing.
The Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat to Swansea in their Premier League meeting on Saturday after Gylfi Sigurdsson volleyed in a poor headed clearance from young Chelsea defender Matt Miazga. Manager Guus Hiddink said after the game that his side’s inability to create and put away chances was the main reason for their defeat at the Liberty Stadium.
“In the first 20 mins we created some half-chances, but we were sloppy in materialising those options, thinking maybe it would come later,” Hiddink was quoted as saying by Chelsea’s official website. “No. If you don’t materialise those, there is a law in football everyone knows which is that you can get in trouble, which we did not long after, going 1-0 down.
“In the second half we played most of the time in one half but we weren’t able to create a lot of chances.”
Chelsea, who are gearing up to face Manchester City next weekend, fielded a relatively inexperienced side due to injuries to key players. The likes of Matt Miazga and Ruben Loftus-Cheek started the game, with Asmir Begovic and Alexandre Pato being preferred at either end of the pitch.
“I prefer to give chances to people playing less frequently and then having the risk of defeat, although today’s defeat was unnecessary,” added Hiddink.
Good chance for Chelsea players to prove their worth before Conte arrival
The Blues currently lie 10th in the Premier League, with little hope of qualifying for European competitions for next season. Chelsea have also been knocked out of this season’s Champions League as well as the FA Cup. As such, they have very little to play for till the end of the season.
However, with the impending arrival of Antonio Conte after the Euros, the players have a good chance of showcasing their skills to the Italian manager, who is expected to make wholesale changes at the club. The former Juventus boss has already visited the club’s headquarters and met a few members of the squad he will inherit in the summer, and there is no doubt that he will be watching them closely till the end of the season.