Guus Hiddink has urged his Chelsea players to do more to reduce the goalscoring burden on Diego Costa after revealing he’s worked hard on the Blues’ attacking shape.
Hiddink takes charge of his third match back at Chelsea on Sunday, away to Crystal Palace, after overseeing two draws. Chelsea are finding goals difficult to come by, and the interim manager revealed that he has been working on the team’s attacking positions in an effort to help them rediscover their scoring touch.
Costa is Chelsea’s top Premier League goalscorer this season, with five. No one else has more than two. Hiddink hopes that Costa’s team-mates will start to chip in more.
“Diego is focusing very much on his job, and that is a lot of responsibility,” Hiddink told the Independent. “He is brave and he likes to do that. It’s a lot of responsibility, but not just on Diego. He wants to perform and is keen to score, but the other attacking players must play a part in assists and goals. It’s not just him.”
Chelsea’s attacking play in the first half of this season collapsed under previous manager Jose Mourinho, with confidence draining from the players who won the title last year. Eden Hazard has not scored for Chelsea since May while Oscar and Cesc Fabregas have also struggled. Hiddink said he has been working hard on the training pitch to help them improve.
“There’s a lot of technical skill in the midfield and attacking positions. We have to see how they become even more productive, and take the next step,” Hiddink said. “We are trying to get them good occupation of the box, so they have more efficiency from their high quality. They have the quality. Now they have to be productive with assists or goals. Not just Diego.”
Hiddink added: “They are not 35 or 36, they can improve. Of course, they’ve had a setback after a tremendous season. That’s rather normal.”