Boudewijn Zenden says Guus Hiddink must restore last season’s title-winning mindset in the Chelsea players if his interim spell in charge is to be a success.
Hiddink was appointed on Saturday following the departure of Jose Mourinho, who had overseen what has so far been a dismal defence of their Premier League title.
Chelsea are a lowly 15th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone despite Saturday’s 3-1 win over second-bottom Sunderland.
Hiddink, who led Chelsea to FA Cup success during an interim spell in 2009, is the man tasked with pulling the London club away from trouble and sustaining a challenge in the Champions League, where they have again been pitted against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.
The 69-year-old left his role as coach of Netherlands in June after a poor start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which saw the 1988 champions ultimately fail to reach the finals in France.
Zenden, who played for Chelsea between 2001 and 2004 and was an assistant to Rafael Benitez during his stint as manager, told Omnisport: “He’s a well experienced manager.
“He’s been in the job before, first time he was there he did a great job as an interim manager, even won a trophy for them. Only future will tell if he was the right man for the job.
“It’s obviously difficult to get an interim coach with a big name, Hiddink has proven himself over the years but of course the critical note is he’s had to leave the Dutch national team because they underperformed.
“The main problem [with Netherlands] was the quality in the group, that is something he will not have at Chelsea because it’s mainly the same players as last year [when] Chelsea won the league.
“It’s a matter of getting the mindset of the players back to where they were last year.”
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