Hiddink plays down Chelsea revival

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Guus Hiddink accepts it will be an uphill battle to stop Manchester United from claiming yet another trophy in the Barclays Premier League - but has vowed Chelsea will do all they can to stop them between now and the end of the season.

The Red Devils, with something short of a first-choice starting XI, beat Tottenham on penalties to win their second trophy of the campaign for the defending European and English champions, who also secured the FIFA Club World Cup title in the Far East just before Christmas. Chelsea moved back up into second place in the Premier League over the weekend, but remain seven points adrift of Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who have a game in hand.

"I am not naive. They have a very good squad, but as long as there is a possibility, you never know. However, realistically, it will be difficult," said Hiddink, who takes his side to relegation-battlers Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

"I like a team that does not give up. I liked the way the team reacted against Wigan after we conceded the goal, and that is just like I see the championship as well. We have to go as long as it is possible."

The Dutchman - who is in charge of Chelsea until the end of the season following the departure of Luiz Felipe Scolari - added: "We have the ambition to go and be [at the top] in the end of the May, so we have to stop them.

"They have always been classical clashes between two powerhouses, but let's make a few steps first."

Hiddink has won all of his matches since taking charge at Stamford Bridge.

The Russia national team coach has been impressed by the response of the Chelsea players, who fought back to beat Wigan with a stoppage-time goal from Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

"What I see is that the players are disciplined and committed to what we want to do," he said.

"We would like to improve our control in games. Sometimes, and it is also to do with the quality of the opponents, we have struggled too much to get the game controlled. We have taken a maximum haul from the last few games, but there is always something we can improve on."'s official website)

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