Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink criticised officials for scheduling his side’s FA Cup quarter-final against Everton so soon after their Champions League outing.
A late brace from Romelu Lukaku saw Everton to a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park on Saturday, ending Chelsea’s last realistic chance of a trophy this season.
Hiddink lamented his team’s defending for the goals they conceded, but said the scheduling was unfair.
“I don’t think you must underestimate that you play Champions League and then in two days you have to play an intensive game here,” the Dutchman told a news conference.
“Not a complaint but they had to prepare one week, that was the advantage in the last 15 minutes of the game.
“One day more rest favoured by the FA would have been very suitable for us, but it is like it is.
“Television is demanding against sometimes the health of players but it is like it is. It is a bit of criticism from my side, not because we lost, we must not concede those goals, but people must consider that as well.”
The cup exit for Chelsea came after they had just two full days off following their 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge that saw their European campaign ended.
While Hiddink has led the club out of relegation danger in the Premier League, he said trophies determined success.
“It’s difficult because success when you face the facts, success is playing a final and winning a final,” he said.
“But you must be also realistic, this year it’s not just from the start when I took over in December, but it’s a whole year that creates an atmosphere that it’s difficult to go fresh for the prizes.
“We tried to, the team responded, we were very happy that we could get out as soon as possible out of the relegation zone but the fact is success is winning FA Cup or Champions League, not totally realistic but they are facts.”