Hiddink: Blues boss must be given time

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Carlo Ancelotti is set to be confirmed as Chelsea manager in the next couple of days, with Guus Hiddink urging the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to stick with his successor long-term.

Twenty-four hours after Hiddink bade farewell to Chelsea, leaving the FA Cup as a going-away present, Ancelotti confirmed he was to exit AC Milan and Hiddink feels the new man has to be given the opportunity to put his own stamp on the club.

"This club needs the next manager to stay for a long while," said Hiddink. "He needs to have a foundation."

News of Ancelotti's departure comes as little surprise given there was no chance of Hiddink staying, and he is now set to become the Blues' fifth manager in less than two years following the previous departures of Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The good news for Ancelotti is that major surgery is not required given the way Hiddink has managed to galvanise the Chelsea squad in the three-and-a-half months he was at the helm.

Many of the experienced players who seemed to lack the appetite for a fight have rediscovered old form, while younger members of the squad, who previously contributed little, have shown why they were bought in the first place.

"The older players showed they can still perform very well and it is good to have a strong squad," said Hiddink.

"If you play 60 games a year, plus internationals, you must have the possibility to rest people.

"But it is beyond question that when older players get injured, it is harder for them to come back at the highest level."

While Ancelotti's status as a two-time Champions League winner as a player and a coach identifies him as a top-class talent, he did win only one Italian league title with Milan.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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