Hiddink revives Chelsea

SOUTHAMPTON. — Guus Hiddink will attempt to maintain Chelsea’s improved form at Southampton today after a week in which Antonio Conte appeared to move close to becoming the Dutchman’s successor at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea remain unbeaten in domestic competition since Hiddink was installed as interim manager in December, a 12-game run that has taken the Blues into the FA Cup quarter-finals and helped the club move closer to mid-table in the Premier League.

Hiddink has brought much needed stability, with the only blemish on his record the last 16 first leg Champions League defeat at Paris Saint Germain which he hopes to avenge next month.

The 69-year-old’s second temporary spell at the club was always destined to draw to a close at the end of the season and reports this week suggest Italy coach Conte, whose current contract expires after Euro 2016, has emerged as the front-runner to take charge next season.

Whether or not Conte takes over a club on the up hinges on Hiddink continuing to bring the best out of a group of players who have recently started to show the form they demonstrated in winning the title last year.— AFP.

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