- Europa League
Hiddink coy on Premier League return talk
Anzhi Makhachkala boss Guus Hiddink has said he may consider a return to the Premier League as his side prepare to take on Newcastle United in the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie.
Hiddink led Chelsea to victory in the 2009 FA Cup final during his short tenure as caretaker coach at Stamford Bridge, making him an immediate favourite amongst the Blues faithful.
Anzhi travel to St James' Park having been held to a 0-0 draw in last week's first leg and Hiddink admits he would relish the opportunity to become a manager in England again one day, although winning the Russian Premier League this season - a very real possibility with his side sitting in second place - is the immediate priority.
"Of course. That's another question [about returning to England]," Hiddink said. "I enjoyed very much [my time in England] I follow a lot the Premier League of course. When in my Chelsea time here, we had a good result here I remember. I enjoyed very much playing here and overall in the Premier League is what every player likes to do and also the managers and coaches they like to work into the big leagues of course.
"Part of the second question, I don't know because I'm not the youngest anymore although I feel energetic and love to be on the pitch almost every day with the guys so there's energy left but I never can predict my future because a big part of future is already behind me.
"I'd like to add a little sentence to that. It doesn't seem in my answer I am having a lot of joy in my current job which is not true. I love the job which I'm doing now, as [Anzhi defender] Joao Carlos just said Anzhi is coming internationally from a small club, within one year the club image has increased a lot the seriousness within the club. The way we are trying to play has given me a lot of energy. Plus I can have influence in the let's say restructuring of what has to be in my opinion a serious club.
"I like very much the attitude of the players I had at Chelsea in my time. I like very much the atmosphere in the stadium. The public who can enjoy very much the way of playing of course they can be full of criticism but mainly they enjoy going to the stadium. I feel as managers we have the obligation to put ourselves every now and then in the situation of the public and why they are coming to the stadium to live up to that standard. They respect the team very much. The public is full of respect for the teams when you work properly."
An away goal will put Anzhi in firm control of the tie, although Hiddink's hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Europa League will be met with stubborn resistance by a Newcastle side desperate to continue their revival after a January spending spree.
"It would be a tremendous achievement for us to be in the last eight, if you see what teams can be playing in the last eight that is champions league level," Hiddink said. "It is difficult and unpredictable to say if the team can go all the way.
"We like to go step by step and not go too far ahead but if we can make the next step it gives a lot of prestige [to Anzhi]. Newcastle I know also have the ambition to play the final in Amsterdam so it will be a nice clash tomorrow. I cannot predict the future, if I could I would not have been a coach."