By Justin Palmer
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was sacked to “protect the interests of the club” and owner Roman Abramovich had to act because of a “palpable discord between manager and players”, technical director Michael Emenalo said.
Mourinho was dismissed by the Premier League champions on Thursday after a poor run of the results left the club a point above the relegation zone.
“Whilst there is huge sentiment for the individual who has done so much for the club, the fact of the matter remains that Chelsea Football Club is in trouble,” Emenalo told Chelsea TV.
“The results are not good, there obviously seemed to be a palpable discord between manager and players and we feel it was time to act.”
Dutch coach Guus Hiddink is set to take over at Chelsea, the club’s former striker Mateja Kezman said.
“I don’t know if it has been officially confirmed yet, but Hiddink just told me he was the new coach,” Kezman, who played for Chelsea in the 2004-2005 season, was quoted as saying by Croatia’s www.index.hr website.
“Hiddink is a great expert and an even better psychologist, hence I am confident he will get Chelsea back to winning ways in the Premier League and go all the way in the Champions League.”
Hiddink won the 2009 FA Cup with Chelsea during a brief spell as interim manager after taking over from Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Chelsea are 16th in the Premier League and one point above the relegation zone after 16 games. They will face Paris St Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League.