Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has insisted that the players must prove themselves in order to earn their place in the top four in the Premier League this season.
Speaking to the media in his press conference on Wednesday, as reported by Sky Sports, the interim boss wants his players to ‘look in the mirror’ and decide whether or not they want to turn their season around.
It was the Dutchman’s first press conference since being appointed after Jose Mourinho was sacked last week, although he was present at Stamford Bridge for the win over Sunderland at the weekend.
The defending Premier League champions lost nine of their 16 games under the Portuguese tactician, and Hiddink has called on them to find their motivation quickly, or risk seeing their chances of salvaging something from the season disappear.
The former Dutch national team coach insisted that it was still mathematically possible for the club to reach the top four, and so they would continue to work towards achieving that ambition.
With just an 11-point gap between themselves and Tottenham Hotspur, it certainly isn’t an insurmountable difference and the club as a whole will be confident of their chances if they can begin to put together a strong run of results.
Chelsea face Watford on Boxing Day at Stamford Bridge, before heading to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on December 28.
With the pressure building on Louis van Gaal, his compatriot will not show him any sympathy ahead of the meeting, as both men know the importance of the result and its implications for the race for the top four in terms of building momentum heading into 2016.