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Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Title race is back on - Hiddink


We can keep the pressure on - Hiddink

Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink believes there is now scope for surprises as the title run-in reaches its conclusion.

Liverpool's win at Old Trafford and Chelsea's defeat of Manchester City cut the gap between the leaders and their two closest rivals to four points.

"I don't know what Manchester United's reaction will be," said Hiddink.

"When you are in the driver's seat and someone else is coming, you can get a little bit nervous. It is a little bit open now."


Although their lead at the top has been reduced, Sir Alex's Ferguson's side have played a match less than both Chelsea and Liverpool and Hiddink conceded it means the champions are still firm favourites to retain their title.

United have 10 games remaining, including matches against Manchester City and Arsenal at home, while Chelsea and Rafael Benitez's Liverpool have nine games left.

"If it was just four points it would be very close but they have that game in hand," added Hiddink.

"But it's clear that after that unexpected result (Liverpool's 4-1 win over United) that the tension has come back in the league.

"It's a boost but if we want to track them, we have to keep on winning. That will give tension to the end of the season, which is good for everyone."

The Dutchman, who is set to return full-time to the Russian national team at the end of the season, played down the effect that he or either of his counterparts could have on the closing stages of the season.

"It's not a battle between the managers. It's a battle between the players," he said.

"They're both very experienced - Rafael is experienced and Sir Alex is very experienced. Let me, as a schoolboy, chase them. At the end, it's the players."

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see also
Defiant Ferguson demands response
15 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Man Utd 1-4 Liverpool
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Chelsea 1-0 Man City
15 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Hiddink still plans Chelsea exit
13 Mar 09 |  Chelsea
Hiddink refuses to concede title
12 Feb 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea confirm Hiddink as coach
11 Feb 09 |  Chelsea

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