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Hiddink enthused by glimpse of ´the old Hazard´

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink hopes Eden Hazard can build on what he perceived as an improved performance against Paris Saint-Germain.

Hazard was the Premier League Player of the Season for 2014-15, but has struggled to replicate the form that earned him the accolade this season. 

The Belgian has scored just one goal – a penalty in the 5-1 victory over MK Dons in the FA Cup last month – and has struggled for fitness since December due to hip and groin injuries.

However, Hiddink was enthused after seeing a more confident display from the 25-year-old in the Champions League defeat at PSG on Tuesday.

“He was in a difficult situation but he has to step up and he knows that,” said the Dutchman. “We have talks with him, although I don’t like, long broad ones, but every now and then small ones about how he can step up.

“I remember once [against PSG] he had a sprint on the right, there you see that’s the old Hazard and we hope to see that more frequently.

“He’s shown it once, but he can show more. He’s aware of that and knows it’s up to him to step up.”

Ahead of the first leg of the last-16 tie in Paris, Hazard confessed he would find it difficult to turn down a move to PSG, while also refusing to rule out a transfer to Real Madrid.

However, Hiddink insists the midfielder is happy at Stamford Bridge and is not angling for a move away.

“He’s very keen to be here, he’s extended his contract, he’s happy here, his family is,” the Chelsea manager said.

“There was no sign that he was saying: ‘I’m eager to go’. We will encourage him and talk to him about performances and the team, then it’s up to him.”

Chelsea face Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday and will remain without captain John Terry due to a hamstring injury sustained in the 5-1 win over Newcastle United last weekend.

Fri 19 Feb, 2016
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