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Hiddink: Tottenham lacked control of champions

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink said Tottenham failed to show the necessary control to win the Premier League.

Hiddink watched on as his side came back from 2-0 down amid a Tottenham mental breakdown on Monday, earning a 2-2 draw that ended Mauricio Pochettino’s side’s hopes of a maiden Premier League title, handing Leicester City the silverware.

The Dutchman, who will make way for Antonio Conte at season’s end, said champions – as Leicester have proven – require cool heads.

“They lost the control to play as champions,” Hiddink said ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Sunderland on Saturday.

“I don’t think in all the emotion that the Chelsea players were tackling rudely and trying to injure.

“The team who should have been frustrated was Chelsea at 2-0 down!”

Hiddink said once Tottenham’s players started losing control and lunging into reckless challenges, they had spelt the beginning of the end for their title chances.

“Some [Spurs players] lost their control. After that it’s difficult to come back playing as a potential champion,” Hiddink added.

“There were not many Chelsea players who went into the red zone. There were some yellows but I think it was more of protesting than violent play.

“Spurs are a good team to see, a young team and they might think differently.

“But I think it’s a very good lesson for them in that situation – that you can play more like a champion and not get involved in incidents that might be counter-productive.”

Hiddink also suggested Pochettino did not do enough to stop some of the dangerous tackles his players were attempting.

“But I can hopefully make a judgment when one of my players is tackling or whatever,” he added. “Then we will say ‘Hey, my friend, we do not do that this way. We’ll be on top of that, it’s harming the team’.

“But also when you are having the proximity of being a champion or a candidate and you are winning already then it’s a rather luxury situation where you have to control yourself.”

Sat 7 May, 2016
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