Dutch reunion: Koeman’s Saints welcome Hiddink’s Chelsea

Hiddink will attempt to extend his unbeaten domestic record at Southampton on Saturday when he will be reunited with Dutch great Ronald Koeman, the Saints manager who played under Hiddink at PSV Eindhoven in the 1980s.

In the last corresponding fixture, in December 28, 2014, both teams shared the spoils. Mane scored for the home side but Eden Hazard (centre) equalised at the stroke of half time.   -  AP

Hiddink will attempt to extend his unbeaten domestic record at Southampton on Saturday when he will be reunited with Dutch great Ronald Koeman, the Saints manager who played under Hiddink at PSV Eindhoven in the 1980s.

“It’s easy to say now but I had no doubt he would make manager,” Hiddink, who later managed the Dutch national side, said. “In 1986 we tried to establish a team of good personalities. I am always of the opinion a manager has limited power when the game has gone on.

“I was looking for a spine for the team which you can compare in team meetings. He was in the spine, one of the leaders. Maybe he was mid-20s at the time and you can see what happened at that young age, he had the possibility (to become a manager).

“Last year he did a terrific job (at Southampton), this year he started well. The club was very stable but regained their confidence in recent games, it’s up to us to try and control them.”

Terry on sidelines

Chelsea will travel to the south coast without skipper John Terry, still sidelined with a hamstring problem.

“He will not be fit,” said Hiddink. “You want to be careful with this type of injury, with the tendon or hamstring,” he added.

“We have Norwich on Tuesday and we will see if he (Terry) is fit and available for Stoke the following weekend.”

Alexandre Pato will again be forced to wait for his Chelsea debut as he continues to build up match-fitness.

“He needs to get sharpness and be competitive,” said Hiddink. “We now have three strikers available plus Falcao.

“Diego Costa is doing his job very well and I’m rather satisfied with his performance and, including Bertrand Traore, they have to compete (for a place).”

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