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Hiddink unsurprised by pressure on Man Utd manager

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink on Friday said Louis van Gaal must accept scrutiny as manager of a Manchester United side vying for the Premier League title.

Pressure on Van Gaal is 'normal' according to Hiddink. Credit: Reuters

Hiddink was asked about United's troubles in a campaign which has seen Van Gaal's position come under sharp focus amid fan frustration over tactics and results, with Jose Mourinho apparently waiting in the wings to succeed him.

Van Gaal has bristled at suggestions he could lose his job, with United fifth, 10 points behind leaders Leicester.

And a win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday could reignite the Red Devils' hopes of succeeding Chelsea as Premier League champions.

Hiddink said:

He has to perform, this is normal, as we have to perform here as well. There is pressure. There was and still is big ambition.

They have to cope with that. The pressure is on. It's on everyone. But if you have the possibility to go into first position, then pressure is on.

– Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink

Juan Mata outperforming former Chelsea team-mate

Eden Hazard's dismal form has been one of the biggest Premier League mysteries of 2015/16.

Mata is outperforming Hazard this season. Credit: Oulala

Last season's Premier League Player of the Year has been a shadow of his former self, providing two assists and zero goals in 21 appearances.

Oulala have compared the out-of-sorts Belgian's form with that of former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata, who joined Man United from the Blues in January 2014.

And Mata comes out on top against Hazard in pretty much every department, despite not enjoying a particularly impressive campaign by his own high standards.

Mata has scored more goals, provided more assists and pulled off a greater number of successful passes than his former team-mate.

While Chelsea's form has improved since Jose Mourinho's sacking, the same cannot be said for Hazard, as he continues to disappoint the supporters he wowed throughout last season.


John Terry set to leave Chelsea under a cloud

John Terry is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club as his Chelsea career appears set to end in dispute.

There will be no fairytale ending for John Terry at Chelsea. Credit: PA

The Chelsea skipper on Sunday night revealed he would be leaving Stamford Bridge after the club opted not to renew his contract.

Terry said the incoming manager may be able to reverse the decision, while Chelsea suggested a contract offer could be forthcoming and "the channels of dialogue (remained) open".

Yet in making the club's stance public, Terry effectively issued a come-and-get-me-plea to the cash-rich clubs in Major League Soccer, China and elsewhere and it would now take a remarkable U-turn for him to stay at Stamford Bridge for a 19th season.

Terry, who says he intends to leave the Barclays Premier League, is already free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club and may do so before a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho is appointed.

Guus Hiddink, Chelsea interim boss following December's sacking of Mourinho, will address the matter on Tuesday at a media conference ahead of the Premier League clash with Watford, but his caretaker capacity means he has little influence.


Starting line-ups: MK Dons v Chelsea

Signing Pato isn't a gamble - says Chelsea boss

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink has denied the imminent arrival of Alexandre Pato is a gamble.

The 26-year-old former AC Milan forward is poised to sign on loan from Brazilian club Corinthians until the end of the season.

Pato is set to join Chelsea. Credit: PA

"It's not a gamble," Hiddink said.

"Coming on loan makes it possible to have a good view on him, whether he is able to adapt to the high demands of the club and the league

"He is in London. He is now in the process of bureaucratic paperwork."

Pato has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons and it is uncertain when he will first be available to Hiddink and Chelsea.

The Dutchman described the move as "a brave step" and the success or failure depends on the player.

He added: "It's up to him."

New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga's move is near completion, too.

"We're not rushing, but he will be one of the squad members for the future," Hiddink added.

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