Guus Hiddink Chelsea Manager

Hiddink Criticize Chelsea’s Fixture Scheduling and Calls on Club Doctors to Protest

Chelsea interim boss has moved to criticize the scheduling of the FA Cup after realizing that Chelsea will have to play their FA Cup quarter-final against Everton on a Saturday evening, just a few days after their Champions League Match against Paris Saint-Germain.

Chelsea are currently in three competitions, which are proving to be tricky for the players and mostly the manager, who has to ensure his players are fit for every match. Hiddink is frustrated with the Blues’ FA Cup sixth-round tie at Everton, which is scheduled for Saturday.

Besides, the West London club were due to play Liverpool in the Premier League on March and Hiddink doesn’t understand why the cup tie could not have been arranged for the same time.

Chelsea’s injury concerns have worsened since Saturday’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Southampton and Hiddink has moved to express his disappointment at the fixtures that doesn’t favor players’ welfare.

“We have a tight schedule with Norwich on Tuesday and then Stoke next weekend and then PSG,” he said. “Then, surprisingly, the Everton FA Cup game was put on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.

“Normally we would have played Liverpool in the Premier League that Sunday. I don’t know who has decided that, all of a sudden, the kick off was Saturday afternoon. It was astonishing that people could change the kick-off time. We have PSG on the Wednesday night. Hopefully it doesn’t go into extra-time.

“The players, not just Chelsea players, need at least two days recovery and a third day to start up a bit when the intensity of the league is like this. The medical people at the clubs and FA and the Premier League should make this known.

Hiddink also says Premier League club doctors should put pressure on the game’s authorities to change the fixture calendar.

“We have to protect the players as well. Every club and the FA have medical departments. The doctors should stand up and say: ‘FA, TV, whoever: Hey!’”

Chelsea interim boss is not the first boss this season to criticize the idea that fixtures are moved for TV purposes.

Earlier, Manchester City were in a similar situation that saw manager Manuel Pellegrini use several youngsters against Chelsea in the FA Cup because of the proximity of the Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev.
Hiddink acknowledged that he had considerable sympathy for Manuel Pellegrini, who played a weakened side against Chelsea and then travel to Dynamo Kiev and play the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.

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