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Guus Hiddink on Louis van Gaal's tactics: 'First thought must be vertical'

LONDON -- Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink admits he has a different view of how football should be played to Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and says that possession without ambition is not acceptable in England.

Van Gaal leads United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday under considerable pressure from his own supporters amid growing disillusionment about the team's possession-focused style of play that has yielded just 11 wins and 31 goals scored in 24 Premier League matches this season.

Manchester UnitedManchester United
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Chelsea are nine matches unbeaten in all competitions since Hiddink took charge, though Watford held the Blues to a goalless draw at Vicarage Road on Wednesday night.

Asked if he and Van Gaal differed on their view of how to play the game, Hiddink replied: "There's a different approach and different view on the game, and that's [the case] with more coaches.

Guus Hiddink and Louis van Gaal, shown here in 2006, have crossed paths many times in their career.

"When you just play possession in your back four with the goalie and you just play wide, wide, wide, wide, without having any intention of going vertical, then you say this is a country that doesn't allow that.

"I think the first thought must be vertical.

"You must not overrate the percentage of possession. It's what you do with the possession. Most teams want the ball but are you going to be secure in your way of playing or you go as soon as possible into your attack? The latter option I prefer."

Pressed on whether these comments were a valid criticism of United's style, Hiddink added: "I don't know. It's difficult for me to judge how they play. They like to see more play in the box, but we had the same problem weeks ago."


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