London: Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has announced that he will retire from coaching at the end of the season despite admitting he is relishing his role at the English football club.
The 69-year-old took charge at Stamford Bridge for the second time in his career in December after Portugal’s Jose Mourinho was sacked following a turbulent start to the campaign.
Hiddink has helped the reigning Premier League champions regain some solidity and only suffered his first defeat this season when his side were beaten 1-2 by Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.
“I feel fit, I feel fresh and, every morning, I go with a smile. Although we have a difficult time when there’s a loss, I love to go to Cobham, to the training field, so I feel fresh,” Hiddink was quoted as saying by The Sunday Times on Saturday.
“On the other hand, young people must take over and I must retreat a bit. I will visit Chelsea often next season but I’m not thinking of working elsewhere.”
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Despite his comments, Chelsea midfielder Oscar is quietly optimistic Hiddink may yet decide to stay on at the club next season if offered the chance, admitting he has had a “positive influence” since joining.
“Based on how well Guus has been doing so far, he could very well stay. He’s a very nice guy. Very smiley. He always looks to create a happy, positive environment,” Oscar said.
“He has a very positive influence here and we’ve been playing well. We’ve had a lot of draws in that time but overall, in the Premier League, things have been going a lot better and it has given a huge boost of confidence to all the players.”