Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink revealed he opted not to substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek in Saturday’s 4-0 Premier League win over Aston Villa because he wanted the promising youngster to learn how to suffer.
The 20-year-old gave Chelsea the lead in the 26th minute with his first Premier League goal and put in a strong performance as the visitors cruised to victory at Villa Park.
Loftus-Cheek asked to be replaced late in the match, but Hiddink decided differently as he wanted the midfielder to complete a league game for the first time in his career.
“He was used to being substituted after an hour,” Hiddink was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“But we deliberately kept him on to suffer for a little bit. He needed the experience of 90 minutes.
“He had a little bit of cramp and I said ‘Come on, it’s good for you’. Although it was not the highest tempo game, he had to experience it.”
Hiddink also had his say on the performance of United States international Matt Miazga after the defender, 20, made his debut in the win over Villa.
“Miazga had a rather comfortable game, even though it’s not easy against [Rudy] Gestede,” added the Stamford Bridge boss.
“He did well and showed he has the potential, but this was not the most tough game. You have to consider as well how you cope when a good war is going on, but it was a good first step up for him.”