Good afternoon everyone and welcome to coverage of today's Chelsea press conference.
Guus Hiddink is due to sit down with the media at approximately 1.15pm on Friday afternoon.
The Blues are back in action against Newcastle on Saturday and go into the game on the back of a last-gasp draw at home to Manchester United last Sunday.
Diego Costa snatched a share of the spoils at the death at Stamford Bridge to dent Louis van Gaal's hopes of making the top four.
Newcastle are an entirely different prospect as they battle to remain in the Premier League for next season and will be desperate for the points in west London.
We'll have all the latest ahead of the big game as soon as we get it.
That’s it, folks.
The Dutchman has left, and it was an eventful press conference.
Here are the highlights from the past forty-five minutes...
- Diego Costa suffered a broken nose in training
- The door is still open for John Terry to remain
- Blues star Eden Hazard is returning to full fitness
- Hiddink is looking to re-establish Chelsea as a force with a win over Newcastle
- The Dutchman also has his say on the football ticket price debate
Blues star returning to fitness
Belgian winger Eden Hazard has come in for some criticism this season, after failing to reach the heights which won him the Premier League player of the season award last season.
But Hiddink suggests that he is set to play a larger part in the remainder of the season - as long as he stays fit.
He said: “Nothing missing but he is coming out of a double injury in the last weeks. We made a special programme to get him fitter.
“He is able to go for longer periods in the games. Let’s first see his performance in the upcoming game. Our concern, with a lot of respect, is to focus on Newcastle.”
The Dutchman has been asked to comment on the underwhelming summer transfers made by predecessor Jose Mourinho, including Baba Rahman and Papy Djilobodji.
He was diplomatic in his response.
He explained: “When I came in, the players were not tired but it was a very uncertain situation.
“Not tired, but when you don’t win frequently as they didn’t do, then it’s sneaking in a bit of insecurity into the team.
“We had to deal with that first - we did it with an unbeaten array of games but now we have to make the next steps into victory.”
Home form fears?
Manager Hiddink has been questioned on his undefeated status.
The Blues have drawn four consecutive games at home, but Hiddink would rather have more victories to his name.
He said: “The status of being unbeaten sounds good but realistically we would have wished to have more victories, especially at home.
“And we have an opportunity to do so against Newcastle. They improved their squad with substances, some good signings, and they are more competitive now.
“When you don’t keep winning at home, people have less fear.”
Football ticket prices
After Liverpool retracted previous plans to raise their ticket prices to £77 next season, Premier League managers have been weighing in on the debate.
And Hiddink agrees with colleagues like Tony Pulis and Jurgen Klopp, who are keen to see prices remain feasible.
He said “First of all, football has changed in the last years a lot regarding organisations, tv rights, sponsors, etc.
“It’s a very interesting world for broadcasters. Let’s not forget, it’s about the players, who perform, and equally important, the public.
“The man on the street who likes to see high-level football. For me that is main, and for my colleagues they have a similar point of view.”
Where is Pato?
Guus Hiddink is being questioned on the Blues acquisition of Brazilian forward Pato. Will we see him soon?
He said: “He is in the second week of pre-season. We won’t see him now, not at the moment.
“He’s progressing, he came from holiday - of course you can see the difference between him and the ones in daily training.
“After ten days, you can see him progressing, but next week he will go to the next level of training.”
Leicester's title charge
Following Leicester’s fantastic form this season, Hiddink has commented on the successful Foxes and their title charge.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Dutch coach admitted he is excited by the potential of the Midlands side to win the Premier League this season under former Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri.
And, he added, there may be more surprises in the near future.
He said: “I like to win every game, but that’s not realistic.
“But the way it is open now, and i think will be even more open in the upcoming seasons, it will be more open and attractive, that’s what i like very much - it’s very good for football.
“I think it would be one of the most fantastic things seen in football.”
Update on China targets
Loic Remy and Oscar have both been linked with moves to the Chinese Super League, whose transfer window remains open until later this month.
24-year-old Oscar was allegedly subject of a £57million move to Jiangsu Suning to join former Blues midfielder Ramires, while Remy has also been backed to leave.
But the Dutchman believes the Blues will keep hold of what they have now.
He said: “I think the squad we have will stay until the end of the season.
“Falcao is training, in progress, but he is not in the group of the Champions League.”
Hiddink delivers manager search update
The former Netherlands and Australia boss will probably have to deal with this until the end of the season, but he once again denies any knowledge of the Chelsea hierarchy’s quest for a new permanent manager.
He added: “It’s up to the board and to the management.
“I don’t think it is a distraction. The players are very focused on what they have to do.”
Boost to Matt Miazga's chances of playing
Hiddink has responded to questions about USA international Matt Miazga’s role following injury to Zouma, though the Dutchman was keen to point out that Chelsea have a versatile first-team squad.
He said: “He moves up. I have a kid from the academy who is now with us. We will see what happens but we have inside the first squad, we can make variations, with Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, we have options to choose.
“It gives also other people chances to step up - sometimes the unexpected can happen with youngsters and others stepping up. We have no fear to bring them in.
“He is ok physically. But we will see what will happen next week. He is still a youngster.”
Door is open for John Terry
Inevitably, the Dutchman has been asked about the future of Blues skipper John Terry after Kurt Zouma suffered a long-term injury.
But Hiddink has responded in uncertain fashion - as to be expected from an interim coach.
He said: “It was curious - I called him before the operation and I tried to encourage him, things happen.
“Surprisingly he was in a mood as if nothing had happened. He had his operation and it went well, but he is out for months, months, months.
“He was improving on all aspects of his game, not being able to play with us in France, not being able to play in the Euros - it’s a tough time for him.
“I don’t know. That’s something to be answered by the management, the board, and the directors of the club. The door is open - we will see what happens.”
Diego Costa suffers broken nose
The Dutchman has started by delivering an update on Spanish forward Diego Costa.
He said:“He put his nose on the back of the head and he was very unlucky. His nose was broken.
“He will return today, because today is the day they put on a mask. We are a team with a lot of masks.”
Guus Hiddink has arrived...
The Dutchman is ready to face up to the press after his side rescued a dramatic 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.
He is likely to be in buoyant mood ahead of a clash with out-of-sorts Newcastle.
Team news, John Terry, and transfers all likely to feature in the coming minutes. Stay tuned.
Chelsea have LITERALLY taken a kicking this term
Chelsea have been awarded more fouls than any other side in the Premier League this season.
The west London club’s opponents have been pulled up for 312 fouls on the reigning Champions in league games, according to figures provided by Opta.
Swansea have been awarded the next highest number of fouls with 298 to date.
The Swans are followed by West Ham who have won 294 fouls, Arsenal who have won 291 and Crystal Palace who have won 283.
Norwich have had the fewest number fouls awarded to them this season - 188.
That means that the Canaries have an average of 7.5 fouls given to them a game compared to the 12.5 per game awarded to Chelsea.
Who will replace Guus as Chelsea boss?
With Guus Hiddink insisting that he will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, the only question is who will replace him?
Hiddink took over from Jose Mourinho in December after receiving an SOS call from Blues owner Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea improved from the side who looked like they could barely string a pass together under the Special One and the miraculous turn around in form of Diego Costa is something to be admired.
But with Manchester City announcing the appointment of Pep Guardiola, the Blues will want a manager to challenge the exploits of the former Barcelona boss.
Hiddink has confirmed the club will be looking at other options to fill the vacant hotseat.
The 69-year-old interrim boss said: “I’ve put two dates in my mind which is the 28th May and then it’s finished, I can then go home on the 29th.
“Those dates are the FA Cup Final and Champions League Final. It means that after that it’s over. We made it very clear at the end of this I will stop.”
So what do Chelsea do next?
The FA set to help Chelsea with Wembley move
The FA have reportedly laid out plans to strip Wembley of all non-essential events so Chelsea and Spurs can both use the national stadium for the 2017-18 season.
Plans are being set in motion to limit the stadium’s music calendar to a brief summer window while Rugby Union will disappear from the venue’s schedule.
However, the FA plan to honour their long term contracts with the England national side, the Football League, the FA Cup, the rugby league and the NFL, but the FA Vase and FA Trophy finals would be relocated.
Chelsea have already agreed to use Wembley as their home stadium for three years starting in 2017-18 in a deal which is set to cost them £20 million-per-year.
The Blues are looking to redevelop their SW6 home by increasing its capacity to around60,000 and putting them on a level playing field with Europe’s elite stadia.
Plans were submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham Council at the start of December.
The planning process is expected to last beyond the end of the season, and is expected to be just one of a number of steps towards full consent for the stadium development to go ahead.
Take a virtual tour of the new-look Stamford Bridge...
How the Premier League landscape is set to change
As we enter the business end of the Premier League season, clubs around the country will be anxiously anticipating different scenarios ahead of the summer months.
The summer will provide a chance for teams to reassess their final league positions and to map out how to better it the following year.
For Chelsea, the only way is up after an abysmal start to the season left the club in disarray and no choice but to axe former manager Jose Mourinho for a second time.
For others, such as Leicester, the only way is - seemingly - down. The Foxes top the league and are well on course to produce the biggest shock in the Premier League era.
As the season heads into the final stages, we look at what business Chelsea’s Premier League rivals have done and how they may shape up next season.
A glimpse of Cobham training centre
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at Cobham.
The press conference room here is smaller than you would imagine.
It is often packed to the rafters ahead of a big game.
Newcastle boss gives John Terry verdict
Steve McClaren has already held his pre-match news conference up in Newcastle this morning.
The former England boss has been asked whether he fancies signing John Terry on a free this summer.
Terry has already claimed he is set to leave the club at the end of the season.
The Newcastle has had this to say...
“That’s their decision. I know JT well and he’s a great player and servant for Chelsea, he’s Mr Chelsea.
“To leave and not to be given a contract must be a big wrench for him wherever he goes to leave.
“How far is the summer? A long time, a lot can happen between now and then.
“So we’re not thinking about that.
“We’re just thinking about John Terry playing for Chelsea and how we can get past him.”
Taking a peak at training
Chelsea have been working hard all week for this one.
There was no Kurt Zouma in training of course, as he embarks on the long road to recovery.
Here’s a quick glimpse of yesterday afternoon’s session at Cobham.
Welcome Chelsea fans
Good afternoon folks. It’s that time of the week again, yep, it’s Chelsea presser time.
Guus Hiddink is due to arrive at Cobham at 1.15pm this afternoon.
He is gearing up for the visit of Newcastle United tomorrow and will be hoping to take maximum points against the relegation-threatened side.
It comes hot on the heels of last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United as Diego Costa struck a last-gasp leveller
We’ll be getting all the latest team news, gossip and more from Hiddink when he sweeps into the press room in Surrey in a little while.
We’ve got plenty to keep you busy until then, so sit back and relax as we await the arrival of the interim Chelsea manager.