Defence matters to Hiddink

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Football News

New Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink believes Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba can play in the same team - if they show defensive as well as attacking qualities.

Anelka marked Hiddink's first game in charge by scoring the winner against Aston Villa - his 21st goal of the season.

Hiddink said: "We have quality players like Anelka and Drogba and, when they have the spirit to work defensively for the team, then you can also the play the way we like to play."

Victory pushed the Blues ahead of Villa into third spot in the Barclays Premier League. Previous Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari had been reluctant to play Drogba and Anelka in the same team.

However, Hiddink said: "You can only play good attacking football when everyone knows their job defensively.

"They are the first defensive line and must join in with the midfield in having defensive responsibilities.

"If they are willing to do that there is no problem with using their strong qualities offensively."

Villa boss Martin O'Neill felt a third game in six days after cup ties with Everton and CSKA Moscow had taken its toll on his side.

He said: "It sounds like an excuse but I do believe the three games in quick succession took their toll. At the beginning, we looked leggy and Chelsea got into their stride very quickly.

"We got a bit of momentum before half-time and had a lot of possession in the second half without creating too many chances."

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Didier Drogba
Nicolas Anelka
Premier League
Aston Villa

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