The Blues boss was speaking to the media ahead of his side’s clash with West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday evening and touched on a variety of topics.
When he was asked whether the Belgium international needed an arm around his shoulders to help him rekindle the sparkling form of last term, Hiddink’s response was sharp.
“I’m not his mother,” he said, per Matt Lewis of Get West London. “They get the proper attention. One needs a lash, another needs an arm. It’s all individual. We gave him the time to come back to the level where he can come back.”
Hazard has yet to find the back of the net for the Blues this season in the Premier League, which is quite the fall from last year when he was named as the division’s best player in the previous edition.
It’s a run that is unlikely to end any time soon either, with Hiddink revealing Hazard will not be featuring in the game against the Baggies. He also spoke about how the Blues will seek to nurse him back to his best, per the club’s official Twitter feed:
Hiddink says Eden Hazard was on the pitch with the physios today but is not training with the group yet. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2016
Hiddink says the key to Hazard getting back to his best form is 'freshness'. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2016
Hiddink stresses he will be giving Hazard all the time he needs to fully recover from his most recent injury. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2016
Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones actually feels that with the correct tutelage, the former Lille man could well be in the running for the Ballon d’Or award in 12 months' time:
The winner of the aforementioned gong for 2015 was Lionel Messi, per BBC Sport, who enjoyed a remarkable calendar year. Hiddink feels as though the Barcelona star is a worthy winner and commented on how enjoyable he is to watch:
Hiddink says he has no doubt Lionel Messi would succeed in any league he played in. 'It seems so easy for him'. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2016
While the news wasn’t good on Hazard’s fitness, Hiddink had positive updates on a couple of Chelsea’s other forward players who have been suffering lately, Diego Costa and Loic Remy.
“Costa is OK, he got a knock but the day after the game he was keen to get back on the pitch,” he said, per Lewis. “Remy is joining the group. The last two days he practised with us.”
It’s a time of the year when a manager needs to utilise his squad appropriately and with that in mind, they can occasionally turn to younger players. Chelsea, while they were scarcely used under Jose Mourinho, have some of the most exciting prospects in the game on their books too.
So Hiddink was keen to stress that Kenedy, who performed well against Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup clash on Sunday, would not be moving anywhere in the window and that young players would be getting a chance, per Lewis:
We have some youngsters and I have a good impression of the guys. He [Kenedy] is one of those young guys who will stay until the end of the season.
We might need him. He started very well and you see every now and then it is up and down–that’s why they need to play. For the moment, he will stay at least until the end of the season and then we’ll see further on.
It’s also a time of year when new players can be drafted in, but Hiddink was giving absolutely nothing away when it comes to any potential incomings:
Hiddink says discussions he has with club management over potential transfers will remain private. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2016
He also revealed that despite currently trailing fourth place Tottenham Hotspur by a whopping 13 points, finishing in the Champions League spots is still the main aim for his team:
Hiddink says fourth place remains the target but it will be difficult. For now he says we must go step by step. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2016
If they are going to achieve that unlikely goal, a win on Wednesday evening is imperative. The Baggies are a very determined and well organised outfit under Tony Pulis and have proven already this term they are capable of getting positive results against the established elite teams.
Chelsea need to get back to making their home ground a fortress again. In the Premier League this season they’ve already lost a massive four games at Stamford Bridge, and if they’re to surge up into the top four in the remaining weeks of the season, a perfect home record for the rest of the campaign is surely required.