Guus Hiddink said John Terry deserved the acclaim of the visiting fans at Watford and admitted “he is of value” for Chelsea.
Terry received a rapturous reception from the travelling supporters and throughout the 90 minutes on Wednesday night after announcing on Sunday that he will not be granted a contract extension.
The Premier League champions still maintain Terry could yet still be offered a new deal to take him into a 19th season and Hiddink was happy with efforts at Vicarage Road.
“He got a huge reception, which is good,” Hiddink added.
“John is doing his job already in the time I’m now here. He’s performing very well. He is of value for us, for the team.”
Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in what will likely be Terry’s 698th game for the club and supporters will be expected to make their feelings clear to the club’s hierarchy over the captain’s future.
The match will pit Hiddink against his compatriot Louis van Gaal, the United manager.
“We will see each other, shake hands and we have a nice clash,” Hiddink said.
“It will be a terrific game. These two giants will make hopefully a spectacle.”
Hiddink remains unbeaten in his second caretaker spell, extending his unbeaten run to nine matches.
But five of Hiddink’s seven Premier League games have been draws, including against Watford on Boxing Day, leaving the Blues 15 points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal.
And it is increasingly likely there will be no European football at Chelsea next term.
Hiddink, with tongue firmly in cheek, said: “We need 3.1 (points) average to get there, which is very difficult.”