Guus Hiddink admits Chelsea have lost pace with their European rivals

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Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has made a startling admission that the Blues can no longer be counted amongst Europe's elite clubs.

The Dutchman believes whoever succeeds him at Stamford Bridge this summer faces an uphill battle to restore their former reputation.

According to the Daily Mail, he said: "It’s not a small job. Everyone, in terms of the weakness of the squad, must react accordingly to make the squad stronger next season - that’s not a small job.


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"If you see the potential of those clubs (Barcelona, Real and Bayern), it’s huge. To be honest PSG have a strong team, they can (pick from) 15, 16 or 17 international players.

"We had some youngsters on the bench at PSG. I am not scared to bring them in but in the long run of a lot of games, you need a bench which is also very experienced."

The Premier League champions have endured an awful season by their usually high standards, currently labouring in 12th and 20 points behind league leaders Leicester City.

Such has been their poor season thus far that it seems their only hope of securing Champions League football next campaign would be by winning the competition itself. Such a feat, however, looks unlikely given their 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain last Tuesday.

A lack of Champions League football to boast next season - and perhaps even Europa League football - would render it difficult to attract the world's best and could prove detrimental to the club's future aspirations.

And perhaps more worryingly, failure to secure European competition could see the likes of talismen Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Willian move elsewhere.

Hiddink's arrival has brought significant improvements at Stamford Bridge since Jose Mourinho's departure, yet there is still considerable ground to make up if any degree of success is to be achieved this campaign.

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