Guus Hiddink will put the development of Chelsea’s young players above his own personal record as manager during the remainder of the season.
The champions, for some time now, have been unable to successfully defend their Premier League title.
Perhaps with that in mind, Hiddink named an experimental side on Saturday against Aston Villa with Loftus-Cheek, who opened the scoring in the 4-0 victory, and Kenedy starting, as well as Loic Remy. Injuries to John Terry and Gary Cahill also saw 20-year-old American Matt Miazga make his full debut.
Hiddink, who has lost only one of his 28 Premier League games in charge of Chelsea over his two spells as caretaker boss, would like to remain unbeaten in the league this season but has vowed to use the remaining seven matches to give the likes of Loftus-Cheek valuable experience.
“I always like to bring in the youngsters and now for the rest of the season we have the opportunity to bring in more frequently those guys,” said Hiddink.
“It is good to see guys like Loftus-Cheek and (Jake) Clarke-Salter coming in. Of course, we can not win anything any more which makes it a little easier, so on the other hand it would be interesting to see guys like Loftus-Cheek come in and play when there is something at stake, with the pressure.
“But then it is more difficult to bring in three or four who haven’t had the experience.
“Of course it would be nice to by unbeaten, from December on, but it is rather personal, although not that important for me. When you have young kids there is more of a risk of failure as you give them that experience, so the risk of a defeat is higher as well.
“But I prefer that to saying I want my personal record to the end of the season, I prefer to give the youngster a chance.”