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Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

Hiddink still plans Chelsea exit

Guus Hiddink
Hiddink has made an immediate impact at Chelsea after joining in February

Chelsea's interim manager Guus Hiddink has reiterated his intention to leave the club at the end of May despite the players' desire for him to stay on.

Senior players Michael Ballack and Petr Cech have said they want the Dutchman to stay as their manager next season.

But Hiddink has insisted he will return to his role as Russia boss despite his impressive start at Chelsea.

"I made it very clear a few weeks ago - and again recently - what the future will be for me after 30 May," he said.

"I don't have to do that again."

Chelsea won their first six matches under Hiddink, the seventh being the 2-2 draw with Juventus that took them into the Champions League quarter-finals.

They have reached the FA Cup semi-finals and climbed to second in the Premier League, four points behind leaders Manchester United.

Striker Didier Drogba, who has been revitalised since Hiddink replaced the sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari, has scored four goals in five games and the team's fighting spirit has returned.

And Ballack said: "I would love for him to say he is staying for three years. Everyone feels he is a great manager.

"Even in a short time he has had a big influence on the team."

Cech added: "He is a very good coach and we want him to stay."

But Hiddink will not allow the influence of Ballack and Cech to change his mind.

"They might change their minds about me when I put them on the bench or not even in the squad," joked Hiddink.

"But there is a good atmosphere of work here and we are very demanding of each other. If they are happy with the way we are working and it's going well with results it's all OK.

"I have been very happy not just with the regular starters but with all the other players, who I've been watching and observing. Everyone is committed."

The Russian Football Union, who allowed Hiddink to take on the Chelsea role in addition to his job with them, have admitted the situation might change in the summer.

"We have an agreement with Guus Hiddink that he will combine the two posts only until the summer. Of course, everything can change," said Union President Vitaly Mutko.

"I don't think he would agree to join any club other than Chelsea, and that is not because of his special relationship with (owner) Roman Abramovich, but because Chelsea are the kind of global side that any coach would like to manage."

Cech added: "It is a difficult political situation and we will have to wait to see what happens."

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see also
Hiddink praises Chelsea battlers
10 Mar 09 |  Chelsea
Juventus 2-2 Chelsea (agg 2-3)
10 Mar 09 |  Europe
Hiddink retains title ambitions
28 Feb 09 |  Chelsea
Hiddink sees no Chelsea discord
20 Feb 09 |  Chelsea
Hiddink puts reputation on line
11 Feb 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea confirm Hiddink as coach
11 Feb 09 |  Chelsea

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