Guus Hiddink has said that Chelsea wanted Ruben Loftus-Cheek “to suffer for a little bit” against Aston Villa.
Loftus-Cheek played the full 90 minutes of the Blues’ 4-0 victory over doomed Villa on Saturday, scoring his first ever Premier League goal.
The midfielder had only completed a full game for Chelsea once before, and interim manager Hiddink admitted that the club wanted for the academy product “to suffer” by not substituting him. Matt Stead now hopes that Loftus-Cheek can finally add consistency to his game.
“He was used to being substituted after an hour,” Hiddink told The Guardian. “But we deliberately kept him on to suffer for a little bit. He needed the experience of 90 minutes.
“He had a little bit of cramp and I said ‘Come on, it’s good for you’. Although it was not the highest tempo game, he had to experience it.”
Hiddink also praised the performance of debutant Matt Miazga, the United States international who was signed earlier this season.
“Miazga had a rather comfortable game, even though it’s not easy against [Rudy] Gestede,” added the Stamford Bridge boss.
“He did well and showed he has the potential, but this was not the most tough game. You have to consider as well how you cope when a good war is going on, but it was a good first step up for him.”