Ronald Koeman hs praised the positive effect Guus Hiddink has had at Stamford Bridge as Southampton prepare to host Chelsea on Saturday.
Hiddink arrived at Chelsea in December for his second spell in charge, following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
Since his appointment, the reigning Premier League champions have lost just once in 14 outings – 2-1 at Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
Koeman played under Hiddink at PSV in the late 1980s, as well as acting as his assistant with Netherlands in the late 1990s, and he believes his fellow Dutchman was the perfect choice to steady the ship at Stamford Bridge following a dreadful start to their title defence.
“They signed Guus Hiddink, he has a good relationship with the players and I think he’s the right person for the right moment in the season,” Koeman said.
“The team is looking more comfortable. They’re coming back and I was expecting that. Maybe the way the manager is dealing with the team is the best for this moment.
“He’s a coach with a lot of experience at all levels and he gives players important support. He’s always defending his players and that was good for Chelsea at that moment.”
A run of five wins and a draw from their last six matches – all without conceding – has seen Southampton climb to sixth and prompted questions over Koeman’s long-term future at a club which continues to prosper under his guidance.
Asked whether the board had spoken to him about a new contract, Koeman replied: “No. I’m still in my second season, it’s too early to make conclusions or to talk about the future.
“Let me first finish this season and try and continue what we are doing until now. I don’t like to talk about my future because it’s not the most important thing at the moment.
“It’s my second year of my three-year contract. I am a happy man at the moment, we are doing well and I know what can happen in football.”
The Saints won October’s reverse fixture 3-1, having fallen 1-0 behind in London.