MX23RW : Friday, January 18 02:01:34

Guus Hiddink calls for Chelsea players to take the lead

Interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink calls on more of his players to take a tactical lead in games, as they did in his previous spell in charge of the club.

Interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has called on his players to take more of a tactical lead in games.

The Blues have won just one of their last six league games and drawn both of their outings with Hiddink in the dugout, leaving them only three points clear of the relegation zone.

Hiddink admitted that the current squad are "different" from the crop he inherited during his first interim spell in 2009, and called on his players to emulate members of that side from seven years ago.

"This team is a bit different to 2009. I'm not going to say worse or better, but different. It was a bit easier last time because we weren't down in the table and there were players with big international experience," he told reporters.

"Look at the spine of that team - Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel, Alex. The centre was strong. It was a different team with different personalities. What I'm asking now of players, is that they take the lead from central defence into midfield. They must demand that of each other, not just in their commitment because they're all committed - I've seen their intensity in training and in games - but also tactically because you can do a lot with two or three words to your companion in front of you.

"People think we have a lot of power on the bench, but that's not true. You can just prepare the team and make the substitutions. I want the players to be in charge. To compare, there were a few more guys who took that tactical lead the last time I was here. Now I'm asking these guys to take the lead."

Chelsea next take on high-flying Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon.


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Fernando Torres (R) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal with team mate Raul Meireles during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on November 7, 2010
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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