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Jul 30, 2011

Hiddink: Chelsea need stability

Guus Hiddink has told Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that stability is needed at Stamford Bridge and that he should stop sacking managers when they don't bring immediate success.

• Hubbard: Andre's age concern
• Cech backing Villas-Boas

Abramovich has made his seventh appointment in seven years by bringing in former FC Porto coach Andre Villas-Boas and since the Russian billionaire took over in 2003, he has parted company with Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Hiddink himself and Carlo Ancelotti.

While Hiddink was the only coach not to be sacked - preferring instead to leave for an international role with Turkey - the Dutch boss says that finding the right man to lead the side for many years is the most important thing; even if it wasn't him.

"If you look at Manchester United, they are the example that clubs need stability," said Hiddink, who won the FA Cup during four months as interim Blues boss in 2009. "This is what Chelsea need as well. I have told Roman that and I think they are convinced as well now.

"Look at the record of Carlo, he won the double. Of course, if you win the double and you go it is harsh. Carlo did well for the last two years but, hopefully, this decision will bring success as well.

"They have gone their way to sign the young, upcoming, promising coach from Porto which is OK. Was I offered the Chelsea job? No, we didn't have any contact about the specifics of the job.

"I had my contract with Turkey but the president of the Turkish federation asked me about the speculation. I replied: 'Mr President, if there is something I will come directly to you'. He said: 'Please don't think about leaving', but I repeated there was nothing concrete and, in the end, he understood.

"When you have been a national team manager for a few years, you often think, 'hey, I'd like to go on to the pitch every day'. But when you have been with a club for are a few years you think the opposite. At the moment, I love having the contact with the national team."

Asked if he would consider a return to Chelsea, Hiddink, 64, said: "I am getting older. As long as I feel the energy I will carry on but I cannot say 'I am going back, I want to go back'. The future is difficult to predict."

Hiddink also played down suggestions that the 33-year-old Villas-Boas too young to succeed at a big club.

"When I was 33, I was an old man playing football," he said. "I was playing with George Best at San Jose Earthquakes, he was my room-mate. I knew then I would become a manager because I had my degrees and I was already working with disadvantaged kids.

"It is a very young age for Villas-Boas to be Chelsea's manager, but he has already proved at Porto he is good. I started young, but not that young. I was in charge of PSV when I was 41 or 42. Obviously that is different to the Premier League, but you have to give youth a chance.

"It depends on the quality of the manager and how he deals with senior players. Age does not have to mean the players consider him as a brother. If they feel he is straightforward and has integrity, he will be fine.

"You can gain respect at 33. On top of that, English professional players like John Terry and Frank Lampard know what is demanded. They take the lead, they respect the club.

"Fernando Hierro at Real Madrid was another such player. When I was manager of Madrid there was an incident with one or two players. I had to solve the problem - but Hierro said: 'Let me do it'. He solved the problem and it is exactly the same with JT and Lampard. They know just what is required at Chelsea."

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