Guus Hiddink said he is relishing the challenge of attempting to lead Chelsea out of what he admits is a “desperate” situation.
The Premier League champions face Louis van Gaal’s struggling Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday lying 15th in the table, just two points above the relegation zone and 13 adrift of the Champions League qualification places.
Emenalo described as “palpable discord” between Jose Mourinho and his squad presented Hiddink with the chance to return to the club he led to FA Cup glory as caretaker manager in the 2008-09 campaign.
Failed spells that followed with Turkey, Anzhi Makhachkala and Netherlands raised questions over whether Hiddink retained the hunger to succeed in top-level management, but the Dutchman says he is already feeling the thrill of his job again.
“When I was asked to take charge I could have said, ‘Get off my back and I will relax at home,'” Hiddink admitted. “I had plans to go on holiday but my partner looked into my eyes and said, ‘We are not going on holiday, we are going to London.’
“Which means I must have the feeling, and I know this club rather well, that I can continue something in this desperate period they have. That for me means I feel, literally, the thrill in my stomach. So I said, ‘Let’s step forward’.
“It is always nice with the past we have, and the beautiful feelings, playing at big stadiums, for intense games like we had against Watford and which it will be against Manchester United as well.”
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