Skip to main content

Hiddink will play youngsters in Premier League and not FA Cup

Guus Hiddink will give his young guns their chance in the Premier League and not in the FA Cup as the interim Chelsea manager prioritises silverware.

Chelsea's hopes of a top-four finish are slim at best with the reigning champions siting 12th in the league table and 14 points off fourth-placed Manchester City.

The two face off in the FA Cup on Sunday, and while Pellegrini has suggested the match is "not a real game", Hiddink said the fixture is taking priority over the club's league commitments.

"Putting one of the youngsters in depends on the demands of the FA Cup, but I don’t hesitate putting them in if needed," Hiddink said.

"We have games still to go in the Premier League where there might be more options. I don’t make any guarantees to players but there might be more opportunities for them in the near future.

"Sometimes you cannot always stick to your principles but they will get some chances."

Young striker Bertrand Traore has been one player to take their chance with increased Premier League game time, having scored in their 5-1 win over Newcastle last weekend, and Hiddink was delighted with the youngster's progress.

"Although he’s not playing, his character is very optimistic, He’s always coming in with a smile, whether he’s playing or not," Hiddink said.

"When a player comes into the Premier League, saying ‘I don’t want to go on loan, I want to make my progress here’, and when they get their first goal – and it was a beautiful goal, a typical striker’s goal which I like very much – it was a tremendous joy for him.

"He was desperate to stay. We were thinking about sending him on loan, yes or no. We talked about that but he would love to be with us for the rest of the season and he has made progress."