Wilkins to stay at Hiddink's side

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The Independent Online

Assistant coach Ray Wilkins intends to remain working alongside new boss Guus Hiddink until he is told otherwise by Chelsea.

Wilkins takes charge of the side for tomorrow's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Watford before Hiddink moves into the hot seat on Monday.

Hiddink has been installed as coach until the end of the season and will combine the role with his other job as coach of the Russian national side.

"I'll be working alongside Guus for the immediate period," said Wilkins. "He isn't bringing anyone in for the time being. So it will be Guus and myself and then we'll see where we go.

"I'll assist Guus as much as I possibly can. I'm employed by Chelsea and not by the new manager. But if he wants me to disappear I'll have to disappear."

Wilkins does not believe that owner Roman Abramovich's decision to fire Luiz Felipe Scolari last Monday was a 'panic' move.

Chelsea's goalless draw against Hull meant they had dropped 16 points and Scolari was taunted with chants of 'You don't know what you're doing' while the team was booed off the pitch at the final whistle.

The poor home form was enough for Abramovich to wield the axe but Hiddink, who will be in the stands against Watford, will start working with the players in earnest on Monday.

"I don't think it's a panic measure, he's a world class coach," said Wilkins.

"Roman knows him from the Russian situation and they've gone for the guy they want to get us to the end of the season. And I think that's as far as Guus will go anyway.

"The mood is very good, very buoyant. It's football and footballers get over situations very quickly. There's another guy coming in and we have to make the best of this situation.

"I think we are still in the race for the championship. There is a long way to go and we have every opportunity.

Watford are managed by former Chelsea reserve team coach Brendan Rodgers and Wilkins admits that a draw would be a disappointing result for him and the side.

Chelsea needed a replay to get past League One minnows Southend in the third round and then beat Ipswich 3-1 to set up the tie against Watford.

"I'm sure Brendan is looking forward to the game," said Wilkins. "From the outside it looks as though there's a lot of upheaval but it's the FA Cup.

"Our players will be striving very hard to make sure we get through. We go into every game to win. A draw would disappoint me."

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