Guus Hiddink played down Thursday's training ground bust-up between Diego Costa and Oscar as he spoke to the media ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup third-round clash with League One Scunthorpe United on Sunday.
He also admitted that winning the FA Cup is a more achievable target for Chelsea than finishing the Premier League season in the top four—they are currently 14th in the English top flight.
The Dutchman said there was little to the clash between Costa and Oscar while giving a detailed description of how events unfolded, per Matt Lewis in the Mirror:
It’s a shame the photographer was on break yesterday, he could have taken pictures of the two bulls who were chesting a bit, the little bull took a charge from behind. It was overdone. Oscar is not the biggest tackler.
They stumbled over the ground, stood up as a normal reaction and chested a bit, without a more serious reaction. We came in between but there is no need to say we avoided them hitting.
We had an intense, very sharp session, it was on the edge. Afterwards, Oscar apologised to the team, and they started laughing.
Having won the FA Cup in his previous interim stint at Chelsea in 2009, Hiddink admitted that winning the prestigious trophy again is a more achievable goal than finishing in the top four of the Premier League, per the Blues' Twitter feed:
Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC
Hiddink says the target of fourth place in the league is a difficult one and the FA Cup is a target the players can achieve. #CFC1/8/2016, 1:17:33 PM
He waxed lyrical about the storied tournament, saying it brought back memories of both watching it as a youngster and winning it, per Lewis: "It means a lot. At that time it was the only silverware that we won, and I won in this country. If you see the impact of the FA Cup, worldwide, it’s a huge tradition. I remember as a young man watching it on this specific Saturday afternoon."
Chelsea will be heavy favourites for Sunday's clash, not least because they have enjoyed some decent form since Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager, winning twice and drawing twice.
Despite the improvement, Hiddink insisted that no matter what he achieves with the Blues in the remainder of the season, he will not stay on past the summer, per football writer Miguel Delaney:
Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney
Hiddink insists he won't be staying after the end of season, regardless of what he achieves. "We've made it very clear."1/8/2016, 1:26:23 PM
He did, however, welcome the potential arrival in the Premier League next season of Pep Guardiola, who recently revealed he wished to join an English top-flight club in the summer, per Lewis: "He has strengths in very good coaching ability. When I have the experience of young English coaches they are also doing well. Nevertheless, when extra quality can be added, then it is welcome"
A decent cup run could be just the tonic needed for Chelsea and their fans, as 2015-16 has, thus far, been one to forget for the defending Premier League champions.
There are a few injury concerns for Hiddink, though, ahead of the third-round clash, with depth short on the ground in the attacking department, per Chelsea:
Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC
Hiddink says Eden Hazard and Loic Remy, plus Falcao, are unavailable this weekend. #CFC1/8/2016, 1:29:49 PM
However, anything other than a handsome victory against Scunthorpe will be deemed a poor performance. Given how well the Blues performed against Crystal Palace last time out, they should expect to win comfortably.
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