Manager Guus Hiddink is determined to take Chelsea to the “best position possible” in his final eight games in charge as the defending Premier League champions aim to close out a forgettable season on a high note.
After a dreadful start, which led to the departure of manager Jose Mourinho, Chelsea have partially resurrected their league journey by avoiding defeat in 13 games under Hiddink.
Nevertheless, the London club has bowed out of both the Champions League and FA Cup under the Dutchman, and a top-four finish looks improbable for 10th-placed Chelsea.
Hiddink, however, has set goals for his players to keep them motivated for the remainder of the season.
“First of all we want to get the maximum out of the team regarding the league table, to get the best position possible,” Hiddink, who will leave the club at the end of the campaign, told the club website (www.chelseafc.com).
“We appeal to the players to say ‘hey, you are a big club which has had a very difficult season and is recovering step by step’. We are unbeaten in the league so far and when you play in a difficult situation, you must have pride as well.”
Young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has seven league appearances to his name this season, echoed his manager’s thoughts.
“We are a team that will fight to the end and we will keep going right until the end of the last game to try and get as high a position as we can in the table,” the 20-year-old said.
“The manager doesn’t have to say much because as individuals we all want to push and as a team we want to fight to the end and get as high up as we can. I think that is a good attribute we all have.”