Chelsea have named Guud Hiddink as their new first-team manager until the end of the 2015-16 Premier League season.
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Hiddink, 69, took charge of Chelsea on an interim basis in 2009 after Luis Felipe Scolari was fired by owner Roman Abramovich and led the Blues to a third-place finish in the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League semifinals and an FA Cup trophy after managing the west Londoners for 23 games in all competitions, winning 17 and losing just once.
This time the Dutchman has a very different task as Chelsea lie just one point above the relegation zone ahead of their game against Sunderland on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) at Stamford Bridge.
“I am excited to return to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment. However, I am sure we can all turn this season around,” Hiddink said. “I am looking forward to working with the players and staff at this great club and especially renewing my wonderful relationship with the Chelsea fans.”
Chelsea confirmed that Hiddink will be at Stamford Bridge for the game against Sunderland but that assistant coach Steve Holland will be in charge of the team. Holland will be assisted by first-team coach Eddie Newton.
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After Jose Mourinho’s firing on Thursday, it was always thought that a short-term replacement would be brought in and Hiddink’s main task will be keeping Chelsea in the Premier League.
In the summer there is expected to be an almighty battle for Bayern Munich’s outgoing boss Pep Guardiola and this move to appoint Hiddink on a temporary basis strengthens the reports that Guardiola is Chelsea’s number one target.
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has also been mentioned as a potential long-term replacement for Mourinho.