Guus Hiddink: Chelsea must finish season with 'responsibility and pride'
LIVERPOOL -- Guus Hiddink challenged his Chelsea players to finish the Premier League season with "responsibility and pride" after Everton ended the Blues' last hope of silverware in Saturday's FA Cup quarterfinal at Goodison Park.
Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the final minutes against his former club to send Everton into the last four and condemn Chelsea to their second defeat in the space of a week after Wednesday's 4-2 aggregate defeat and Champions League exit to Paris Saint-Germain.
Insult was added to injury for Hiddink when Diego Costa was sent off after the last in a series of altercations with Gareth Barry, and the Spain international may face further action if the Football Association decides he bit the Everton midfielder.
Hiddink admits it is a "pity" there will be no repeat of the 2009 FA Cup triumph that capped his first interim spell at Stamford Bridge, but he insists there is no excuse for his Chelsea players to slacken off between now and May despite a top-four place looking beyond reach.
Asked what the mood in the Chelsea dressing room was after the loss, Hiddink replied: "Of course they like to win and most of them are used to winning, but everyone knows the season of Chelsea which was until December very, very bad.
"It's difficult to achieve the Champions League [qualification] and maintain two roads to success which were the Champions League and the FA Cup.
"They are gone now and that's a pity, but when you play in a big club like Chelsea -- and we will emphasise this to the players in the upcoming time -- you must also play with responsibility and pride even if the season is as it is now.
"First we'll let them have a big rest. I don't think you can underestimate that we played in the Champions League and then two days later an intensive game here. It's not a complaint but they had prepared for one week and that was the advantage in the last 15 minutes of the game.
"One day more rest favoured by the FA would have been good for us, but it is like it is. TV is demanding, sometimes against the health of players."
When pressed on whether he would classify his second spell at Chelsea as a success or failure, Hiddink continued: "Success is playing a final and winning a final, but you must be realistic also.
"This year it's not just from December, it's a whole year that has created an atmosphere where it's difficult to go fresh for the prizes. We tried to, the team responded but the fact is that success is winning the FA Cup or Champions League.
"But I'm happy with what we managed to do because in December people [inside the club] were sweating and you never know in the Premier League where you can go."