Chelsea appoints Guus Hiddink as manager for rest of season

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich told his players Friday that Guus Hiddink will take over as the club’s interim manager.
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Chelsea has appointed Guus Hiddink as first-team manager for the rest of the season, the team confirmed Saturday.

On Thursday, Chelsea sacked manager Jose Mourinho, who was fired after the club failed to live up to expectations this season, losing nine of 16 league matches.

Chelsea, currently in 16th place in the Premier League, is just one point above relegation. The Blues qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League last week, and played Sunderland on Saturday.

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Hiddink, however, did not assume his coaching duties against Sunderland, as his deal was not finalized in time. Steve Holland and Eddie Newton instead led the club on Saturday.

“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,” Hiddink said in a statement. However, I am sure we can all turn this season around. 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.”

In 2009, Hiddink took over for former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari after he was fired mid-season. Chelsea won the FA Cup that year with Hiddink at the helm.