Guus Hiddink insists he sees plenty of ambition in his Chelsea side, despite their unadventurous display in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
Louis van Gaal’s side controlled proceedings at Old Trafford and twice hit the woodwork, while both Thibaut Courtois and David de Gea made crucial saves to keep the scores level.
Chelsea, three points above the relegation zone, deployed Eden Hazard as a false nine in the absence of Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao and struggled to pose any kind of persistent threat on the United goal.
But Hiddink is adamant his players are full of belief as they seek to turn their dismal season so far around, telling the media: “The players have experienced a very bad half year.
“They have to lift it up and that’s what we have talked about in the locker room. Everyone is convinced we couldn’t go on the same path and we have shown that in the last three games.
“It’s normal to see the character and desire of the players but they have shown a lot ambition in the last three games. That’s what we are asking and automatically when everyone is on board hopefully then we can use the quality of the players as well.
“I would have been more worried if there was a lack of confidence or ambition but I don’t see that at the moment in this team.”
Speaking of his side’s display at Old Trafford, he said: “Tactically it was okay, defensively we were well organised.
“We didn’t have full power to hurt Man United – as everyone knows we have some problems in the striker position due to suspension and injuries so we had to think how to solve that problem.
“Hazard has done it before and he is capable of doing it because he’s a very versatile player.
“I’m pleased because we had some good opportunities in the second half. Man U pressed although they didn’t create a lot of chances.
“The two best chances were tremendous saves from the goalies, De Gea and Courtois. So no win but we have to consider the situation where Chelsea were and are.”
Hazard complained of a number of fouls during the match and Oscar took a kick from Wayne Rooney in the closing stages, but Hiddink hopes to have both players – as well as Cesc Fabregas, who missed the game through illness – ready for the trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“Fabregas has a temperature and we will see how he is the day after tomorrow. Oscar is okay and so is Hazard who also got some whacks,” he added.
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