Guus Hiddink says that Eden Hazard needs to rediscover his ego in order to regain his Chelsea form.
Stamford Bridge’s new interim manager Hiddink has prioritised restoring the confidence shattered by nine Premier League defeats this term, and Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
The 69-year-old wants Chelsea to locate the strutting self-assurance that underscored last season’s league title charge, to guide the Blues away from relegation conflict.
Hazard could yet beat hip trouble in time to face Watford at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, with Hiddink intent on helping the 24-year-old hit back to his best after a miserable opening to the new campaign.
“He had a terrific season last year and it’s also normal you can have a setback after that,” said Hiddink.
“But I think he can be a key player again.”
Hazard proved an unwitting stooge in Dr Eva Carneiro’s Chelsea exit in September. Blues medic Carneiro was branded “naive” for rushing onto the field to treat the Belgium star in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea on August 8.
“He is a key player as captain of the national team in Belgium – but also here when he gets back into shape.
“He was unlucky to be injured recently, which was another setback.
“We need to get the ego back for him to perform.”