Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink insists the club must make a vast improvement next season as they look set to secure their lowest Premier League finish in 20 years.
The Blues are currently tenth in the league following back-to-back defeats to Swansea and Manchester City, two results that have compounded the team’s struggles to defend their Premier League crown.
The West London club were even flirting with relegation when Hiddink succeeded Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge in December and, although the Dutchman has overseen an improvement in recent months, he knows incoming coach Antonio Conte will have to instigate an immediate return to the upper reaches of the division next season.
He said: “Chelsea are in a difficult situation this season. We managed to get out of the relegation zone but Chelsea need to be in the first four places.”
The Blues have not finished outside the top six in the league standings since the 1995-96 campaign, when they could only place 11th, and they will be looking to enjoy a positive end to the season as they attempt to avoid a repeat of that showing.
Hiddink’s men are next in action when they take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, but they could begin that match in the bottom half of the table if Everton claim a victory in Wednesday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool.
Everton are available at 5.00 to claim a victory at Anfield, while Liverpool are on offer at 1.67 and the draw is priced at 3.80.