Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has told his attacking players that the goalscoring burden does not fall on Diego Costa alone.
Costa is the Blues’ highest scorer in the Premier League this season with five goals, two of which were delivered in the recent 2-2 draw with Watford – Hiddink’s first match in charge since replacing Jose Mourinho.
Hiddink knows he must get the best out of his main forward as Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy are in the treatment room, but he believes the Spain marksman needs help from his team-mates.
“Diego is focusing very much on his job and that’s a lot of responsibility.
“He’s brave and he likes to be like that,” Hiddink said.
“It’s a lot of responsibility, but not just on Diego.
“He has a big temper and wants to perform and is keen to score, but the other attacking players must play a part in assists and goals. It’s not just him.
“There’s a lot of technical skill in the midfield and attacking positions.
“We have to see how the players can become even more productive and take the next step.
“We’re trying to get them into good positions in the box so that their high quality has more effect.
“They have the quality. Now they have to be productive with assists or goals. It’s not just about Diego.”
The ailing Premier League champions face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park tomorrow hoping to avoid the double after losing 2-1 to their London rivals in August.
Meanwhile Alan Pardew is looking to extend his contract with Crystal Palace in the belief that the club share his ambition of winning silverware.
It is a year since the 54-year-old arrived at Selhurst Park, ending a topsy-turvy spell at the Newcastle helm.
Pardew has proved a far more popular figure back at his former club, who he has led from relegation candidates to fifth in the Barclays Premier League.
Talks are now under way to reward him for that progress — something Pardew is open to as he believes the Eagles match his desire to win trophies.
“There is no point in me staying if I don’t have the ambition. “At this time of my career, I need to win trophies — It was a big decision for Pardew to swap Newcastle for Palace and one heavily based on the rival clubs’ contrasting transfer policies.
“Of course I questioned my sanity at times because Newcastle is a big, big club,” he said.
“But the timing was right for me and Newcastle to say ‘okay, you go down a different road now and let me go down a different road’.
“And (Palace chairman) Steve Parish’s assurances on the transfer situation were key to me coming here.
“He said I would have full control over transfers.
“The way transfers were done at Newcastle I didn’t entirely agree with and I didn’t want that here. That was one of the big reasons I came.”
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