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Feb 11, 2009

Chelsea confirm Hiddink's temporary appointment

Chelsea have confirmed that Guus Hiddink will take control of the club on a temporary basis until the end of the season.

The 62-year-old Russia coach, who replaces Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari after his sacking on Monday, will meet the Chelsea players later this week.

Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich made Hiddink his primary target following the club's decision to dismiss Scolari and used his close ties with the Russian FA to broker a deal.

After expressing ''delight'' at agreeing a deal with Hiddink, a statement on the Chelsea website said: ''[We] would like to take this opportunity to thank the Russian Football Union for their understanding and cooperation''.

Hiddink will combine his responsibilities with the Russian national team with his role at Chelsea, something he has done in the past with Australia and PSV Eindhoven.

Before the deal was confirmed Hiddink said: ''Abramovich does so much for Russian football that I wanted to do something back.''

The Dutchman is expected to begin his tenure on February 21 with a tough match against third-placed Aston Villa at Villa Park, followed by a clash with Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Hiddink will attend Chelsea's FA Cup fifth round tie away to Watford on Saturday where he will run the rule over his new team ahead of his appointment.

Commenting on the job ahead Hiddink said: ''It's never enough time to prepare a team in one week but this is an exceptional situation. Chelsea have good players and they should be in top form and that should make my job easier.''

Asked if he intended to bring any assistants with him to Stamford Bridge, the 62-year-old replied: ''Not at this time.''

''I always want to see the situation in the team myself first before making any changes if they have to be made.''

Hiddink, whose contract with Russia runs until the end of the 2010 World Cup, also indicated that he had given little thought to staying at Chelsea beyond the end of the current campaign.

''There are two scenarios: it goes bad and they say 'go back east' or it goes well, but I'm not thinking that far ahead,'' the Dutchman concluded.

Hiddink has never before coached in England and has been out of club management since leaving PSV Eindhoven to take over Australia in 2006.

Hiddink is currently in Turkey with the Russian national side and is likely to fly to England on Thursday, before linking up with his new charges for the first time, probably on Friday.

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