Guus Hiddink: Chelsea must stop sacking managers

'The club has to go in a new way where it is not on short spells'

Chelsea must end their hire-and-fire approach and make sure the club's next manager is a long-term appointment, interim boss Guus Hiddink said on Friday.

The Dutchman has overseen a dramatic turnaround in fortunes, helping the champions climb to 10th in the Premier League after they were struggling one point off the relegation zone when he replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.

Chelsea have changed their manager 10 times since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich became owner 13 years ago with 2005, 2006 and 2015 league winner Mourinho serving two spells at the helm and Hiddink twice operating in an interim role.

"The club has to go in a new way where it is not on short spells," Hiddink told a news conference ahead of Saturday's game against seventh-placed Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.

"I think now they have to go into a new era of Chelsea where managers have more than one or two years."

Media reports have suggested Italy coach Antonio Conte will take over when Hiddink's interim spell in charge is completed at the end of the season.

The Dutchman played down reports the players had already been told Conte would be the next manager.

Whoever takes over at the end of the season, Hiddink said he would still make regular appearances back at Chelsea.

"I'll be here every now and then at Stamford Bridge or at Cobham," he added in reference to the club's training ground.

Hamstring injuries will again prevent captain John Terry and forward Pedro featuring against Stoke.

"He (Terry) is not fit to start," said Hiddink. "He is with the physios and he's training but he's not with the (rest of the) group yet.

"Pedro is the same. He hasn't practised with the group yet."

Hiddink also indicated it would be difficult to pick stalwart centre half Terry on Wednesday when Chelsea bid to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit at home to Paris St Germain in their return match in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"With this kind of injury you have to have rather intense training before," said the Dutchman. "I think he has to prove his fitness on Monday and Tuesday."

Reuters

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