Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink worried over Eden Hazard's fitness amid father anguish

Posted Saturday, March 12, 2016 by

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink worried over Eden Hazard's fitness amid father anguish
Eden Hazard has missed just three Premier League games this term for Chelsea

GUUS HIDDINK admits he is concerned about Eden Hazard's hip injury ahead of Chelsea's crucial FA Cup clash with Everton.

Hazard's father has claimed his son has been playing for "three or four months" with pain that "feels like a knife is being stabbed."

But Chelsea's interim boss appears reluctant to give Hazard a rest and insists his player wants to play every game.

Hiddink said: "I have my concerns over whether he should play when not top, top fit - whether he should play an hour on full intensity, or more at a lower level.

"His father made a fair judgement. He is not absent of injury. What is an injury? You can have an injury where you can't play, or one where you can play but are not fully fit. And that can have an influence on freshness.

"The worries are a bit there, that's true. He will be available for the weekend. He's desperate to participate in the team's performance.

"Every now and then I see that he is capable of doing beautiful and very efficient things. His father was very humble and made a very good comment about this.

"Some players have some difficult times, although they are trying, and that's what he's doing in training as well.

"Sometimes if you have players who you say: 'If you don't feel well, don't play.' But he likes to be on the pitch. It's about when he makes the next step to make possibilities by his talent.

"Sometimes you have to do more in training and work even harder, but I checked with the physiologists and analysing yesterday, seeing whey he couldn't do what he's able to do. You exclude the emotion and see if his work-rate is okay.

"The intensity he's showing in training and in games is not what you sometimes think. So we have to find another way to get him back to his best. Working harder is possible, but not stupidly. Or one or two days off. A way to try and get him on the level."

Tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final has taken on added significance for the club after Wednesday's Champions League exit to Paris Saint-Germain.

And Hiddink must decide on whether to pick Hazard after he went off wincing in the second half of the 2-1 defeat.

The Belgian winger came under fire for swapping shirts with PSG's Angel Di Maria at half-time and Hiddink says he plans to speak to his player later today.

Hiddink added: "I've not spoken yet to him about that, but I was also aware of what people suggested afterwards, that he swapped shirts with Di Maria.

"I didn't want to over-value that. In some countries, more to the south, it's a habit to do that. But for pragmatic reasons. They don't want to be half-nude on the pitch after the game. That's my own explanation. But I will of course be seeing him this afternoon."

The Blues have been handed a boost with John Terry returning to training and Hiddink hopes his captain can play some part at Goodison Park tomorrow.

"He worked rather well in the past days, and he will be included in the list for travelling today," Hiddink added. "He has not practised a lot in recent weeks and days, but it was intensified in the last two days and, today, I will see if he's had a big reaction to yesterday's training. I'd like him to travel to Liverpool anyhow."



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