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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 12, 2009

Hiddink will stick with the same system - Alex

Brazilian defender Alex believes caretaker coach Guus Hiddink will stick with the playing system which failed to work under Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The Dutch coach was due to meet Chelsea's players at the club's Cobham training ground when they returned from international duty on Thursday,

Centre-half Alex is the only player to have previously worked under Hiddink, who is in charge of first-team affairs until the end of the season following the sacking of Scolari on Monday.

Hiddink will combine the new club role with his main job as coach of Russia's national side.

Chelsea decided to keep Hiddink's arrival on a low-key footing as the Dutchman is only in the Stamford Bridge hot seat on an interim basis.

But Alex is already looking forward to renewing his working relationship with the former PSV Eindhoven coach and hinted that Hiddink is likely to stick with a variation of the 4-3-3 system used by Scolari.

"He is a good coach and a fantastic man,'' Alex said. "When I played in Brazil with Santos I remember he came all the way to watch my games and speak with me, he is a very good man.

"I think he would play a similar system here to what we have seen, and when I was at PSV we played a 4-3-3 system - we had some very exciting times there.

"In my three years in Holland, two of them were with Guus Hiddink and we won the title both times and the double once, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League in my first year.''

Hiddink is unlikely to take charge of the first team before the weekend, leaving assistant Ray Wilkins to pilot them through a tricky FA Cup fifth round tie at Watford on Saturday evening.

Indeed, unless Chelsea have a change of plan, Hiddink will not be unveiled at a major press conference.

Instead, he is likely to meet the English media for the first time at Chelsea's pre-match conference ahead of next week's Barclays Premier League game against Aston Villa.

While Alex is relishing the prospect of playing under Hiddink again, he has also taken time out to set the record straight on his own future at the club.

The defender was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge during the transfer window last month but the 26-year-old insists that he never had any plans to quit the club.

"Obviously as a player you always want to be playing and I was on the bench,'' he added. "I mentioned that I wasn't very happy because I was on the bench, but I never said that I wanted to leave.

"People perceived that because I wasn't happy that I wanted to leave, but this was not the case. Now I am playing quite well I am getting back into the team and that's it really.

"Of course you never know what will happen in the future, because in football everything changes. I am very happy to be playing at the moment and I hope it can continue.

"When you are not playing you can feel a bit down but at the moment I am playing well and will continue to do so.

"The most important thing is to keep working hard, because if you find yourself on the bench and your coach needs you, you have to be ready.''

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