Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink, like his predecessor Jose Mourinho, isn’t one to mince words.
Unlike Mourinho, Hiddink is wary of what’s over his shoulder.
With Everton, Arsenal, Manchester United, and a top-10 Watford side rounding out their next four opponents, Hiddink is a bit unnerved about Chelsea’s situation.
“It’s reality,” Hiddink said of relegation in his pre-match press conference. “We have two difficult games coming up. If you don’t gather points there, you don’t know what the others do. The Premier League can surprise you.”
That it can, that it has, and that it will.
“We all like to look forward and to the top of the table,” Hiddink said, “but also don’t be unrealistic – you’re six points off the line of relegation. That’s also a fact. We have to work hard and be very concentrated and gather our points to step up.”
Only facts from the Dutchman. Eight of Chelsea’s next 10 matches come against top-12 Premier League placeholders, a span that will take them through mid-March, plus they have a Round of 16 matchup with Paris Saint-Germain in Champions League play during that timeframe. Things appear daunting for the defending champions, and Hiddink is not someone to back away from reality.