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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Hiddink plays down Chelsea links

Guus Hiddink has dismissed suggestions he could be lined up to replace Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge, although he has revealed he is still in contact with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

• Villas-Boas defends Luiz after defeat

• Villas-Boas bullish about Chelsea future
• Dalglish backs embattled AVB

The pressure is mounting on Blues boss Villas-Boas, with defeat at home to Liverpool their third defeat in four Premier League outings. Chelsea are now 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and, following their 2-1 reverse against Kenny Dalglish's side, Villas-Boas admitted their title hopes had suffered a "big blow".

Despite his team's current plight, Villas-Boas is adamant Abramovich has confidence in his long-term plans, though that has not stopped rumours circulating that his position is now in question.

One man that has been recurrently linked with the top job at Chelsea has been Hiddink, after the Dutchman led the club to FA Cup glory when acting as a caretaker manager in 2009. However, with Villas-Boas confident his future at the club is not under threat, talk of Hiddink returning to west London appears premature.

Hiddink left his post as Turkey coach last week after his contract was terminated by mutual consent. Although he is now a free agent, the 65-year-old says he is eager to take some time off before deciding what his future holds.

When asked whether he had received an offer from Chelsea, he told RT: "No, I was contracted to the Turkish Federation at the time. The relationship [with Abramovich] was and has been and will be very good. When I go to London, I am always welcome at Cobham [Chelsea's training ground] and the stadium. We don't speak every week but every now and then there is contact and I feel very welcome always.

"I will take some time off and we will see what the future brings. I have made a decision to stop the previous job and then one must take some time to reflect and look where there is a prestigious project, not just football but also through other things where I can help somewhere.

"I haven't agreed anything with anyone because I was in Turkey, that's why I will take my time to settle down and reflect on what to do. Whether it's nothing because I am 65 and can retire but I feel I have enough energy to go on and what the future brings we will see."

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