Koeman praises Hiddink's immediate impact at Chelsea

Southampton Football Club

The Southampton manager has praised Guus Hiddink for the positive impact he has had at Chelsea.

As the Blues prepare to visit St Mary’s on Saturday, Ronald Koeman will come up against fellow countryman Guus Hiddink on English soil for the very first time.

In a managerial sense, Koeman and Hiddink’s connection goes back a long way. Their managerial history includes a stint with the Netherlands in 1997-98 where Koeman was assistant manager to Hiddink’s national side. They have also faced each other in the Dutch league, with Koeman managing Ajax and Hiddink PSV.

Although this is the first time they have met in the Premier League, the Southampton manager has moved quickly to praise Hiddink’s impact at Chelsea. In a report from the Evening Standard, Koeman mentioned how the Chelsea interim boss has handled his players well:

"He was the right man at the right moment and the players are looking more comfortable and he has given them confidence.

"I was expecting that because they have good players with good qualities. The way the manager is dealing with the team is good for this moment.”

Chelsea were in fine form against in their 5-1 victory over an inexperienced Manchester City side in the FA Cup but Southampton will pose a completely different challenge altogether this Saturday.

The Saints have not conceded a goal in six Premier League games and despite Chelsea’s undoubted quality, they may find it difficult to break down an in-form Southampton side this weekend. 

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