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Chelsea "in transition" after Champions League exit

Soccer

English champions Chelsea face the challenge of rebuilding for the future after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain, according to interim coach Guus Hiddink.

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The defeat left Chelsea with the FA Cup as their only realistic target this season because they trail Premier League leaders Leicester City by 20 points and are 10 behind Manchester City who occupy the last Champions League qualifying spot.

“My opinion is that Chelsea is now in a transitional period. They have to see how to go on and try to regain the lost terrain where Chelsea used to be,” Hiddink said this morning, Australian time.

“It’s difficult to get into fourth position.”

Chelsea travel to Everton in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday and must wait to see if striker Diego Costa is fit to play.

Costa hauled Chelsea back into the tie against PSG when he equalised in the 27th minute but he left the field injured with half an hour left.

Hiddink said Costa suffered a recurrence of a tendon injury which left him sidelined for Chelsea’s last league match against Stoke City.

Chelsea have yet to announce the appointment of a new permanent coach.

Hiddink took over on an interim basis in December from Jose Mourinho, who won three league titles in two spells at Stamford Bridge but was fired after a string of defeats left the champions a few points above the relegation zone.

-Reuters

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