LONDON - New Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink said on Thursday he was excited at the prospect of managing a club challenging for three major trophies. "The team are in several races, the FA Cup is there, the Champions League and also the League," he told Chelsea TV. "All three roads are very important. The next game at Watford, and then Aston Villa and Juventus and then you go on the path of the Champions League." "That is so attractive. The club has the experience to go to the (Champions League) final." Chelsea, who lost the Champions League final on penalties to Manchester United last season, face Juventus in the first leg of the first knockout stage on February 25 at Stamford Bridge. Hiddink, who has agreed a deal at Chelsea until the end of the season while remaining in charge of Russia, met the players for the first time on Thursday at a training session in Cobham where he was also greeted by club owner Roman Abramovich. "They are very committed. I have seen the training session, but sometimes you can have a little bit (of a) different approach to get even more efficiency out of the players," said the 62-year-old Dutchman. Hiddink will not officially take over until Monday but is expected to be at Chelsea's FA Cup fifth round tie away to championship Watford on Saturday. Assistant manager Ray Wilkins, who took over on a temporary basis when Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked on Monday, will be in charge of the team at Watford. Chelsea trail Premier League leaders Manchester United by seven points and could be 10 points adrift if the Old Trafford side win their game in hand at home to Fulham on February 18. Hiddink's first task will be to reduce the deficit with a victory in his opening match at Aston Villa three days later. "There (could be) a 10 point difference but if you look in the past at this league and other leagues as well, some things can happen during the final stages of the championship."
13 February 2009
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