Hiddink on Terry’s Absence — “It wasn’t my decision” — Chelsea vs PSG Pre-match Quotes

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Updated: February 15, 2016

Chelsea open up its Round of 16 tie in the Champions League on Tuesday, as the Blues travel to Paris for a rematch against the club that knocked Chelsea out of last year’s Champions League campaign — Paris Saint Germain.

Guus Hiddink touched on a few things the day before the match, including John Terry’s exclusion from the squad that is traveling to Paris:

“Well, it was not a decision made by me,” said the Chelsea manager. “He was having too much trouble to travel. We made a test this morning and it didn’t work out well, so the decision was made to leave him at home. He was, himself, also convinced he could not be of worth to the team at the moment.

“He has a bit of a problem on his hamstring and on the tendon in that area. That’s why we had the test this morning and we decided he would not participate. It will be difficult to say whether he can play this weekend. That’s why we’d prefer him to keep undergoing treatment back at Cobham.

“We’ve practised with other people in at central defence, so it was not a surprise for the players that we had to make some changes. Of course, not having John is a bit of a setback. He’s a leader. But I’m not the type of coach to moan and moan. We have to go on. The players who will replace him I have complete faith in them.”

Source: Chelsea FC

Terry was injured and eventually pulled in the first half of the Newcastle match over the weekend.

More on the theme of the squad, Hiddink went on to say that Oscar, who missed the 5-1 win against Newcastle, is available for the PSG match, saying “[he had] a good training session this morning and will be available.” The Dutchman also hopes to have Alexandre Pato at his disposal.

Eden Hazard, who recently stirred up some transfer rumors when he said “it’d be hard to turn down PSG,” should pose a serious threat to PSG – or at least Hiddink agrees:

“I think he had a difficult period when he had some injuries, we started to bring him back and his first game at Crystal Palace he got another injury.

“If a player gets a setback twice, it’s difficult to come back. But now, in recent weeks, he’s trained very well. He came on for 10 minutes and 20 minutes, and played the last match in full. He needs rhyhm of the games, but I’m sure he’ll be of great value for us.”

Source: Chelsea FC

With 12 Premier League games remaining, the Blues currently sit in 12th place – four points back from 9th place Watford and 14 points from the top four. Chelsea’s most likely chance to get back into the Champions League in 2016/17 is by winning this year’s competition, but Hiddink thinks it’s much more than that:

“No, it’s about winning the Champions League, not looking just to get back into it next year. You have so many good teams, though, it’s very difficult. It’s beautiful to win a big, big cup.

“We are growing. Everyone knows the situation of Chelsea in recent months and weeks. We have, step by step, tried to establish more security in the team. To play with the quality of players we have.

“We are not quite where we’d like to be. We’d like to have an array of games where you’ve imposed the way you like to play. We’ve tried to do that step by step. But to give even more security, you need a number of games won where you’ve controlled and been dominant.”

Source: Chelsea FC

If you remember, last year’s fixture was decided on away goals. Though the teams, on the surface, appeared to be trending in opposite directions for much of its domestic campaigns, Hiddink believes the teams are evenly-matched:

“It’s 50-50. If you see where we are now and where PSG are now, they are building a very strong team and dominating the French league completely. They are 24 points ahead, and are focusing to get this Champions League. A big club has to win the Champions League.

“The league didn’t start well for us this year, and we’ve had some recovery from December up to now, but we’re desperate to get into the next round of the Champions League.

“It’s a big test for us to get into the next round and I hope we can do something to swing it to our advantage.”

Source: Chelsea FC

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