Guus Hiddink hails Chelsea's brave Petr Cech

23 April 2009 08:40
Cech rushed from goal late in the second-half to deny Jo as the Brazilian ran through, with the two players colliding. When Cech went to ground there were concerns, given the fractured skull he suffered in 2006, that he may have damaged himself badly.

However he soon recovered to keep another clean sheet even if Chelsea failed to stay in the Premier League title race with the frustrating goalless draw during which, in truth, they were lucky not to concede to an at times rampant Everton who they will meet again in next month's FA Cup Final.

 Related ArticlesChelsea lose ground in title racePremier League tablePremier League highlightsGuus Hiddink: Petr Cech has crisis of confidenceChelsea still fighting for title, says Petr CechGuus Hiddink has guile to sort out Chelsea?s defensive problemsHiddink singled out Cech for praise following the performance in which he, nevertheless, admitted that Chelsea's slim chance of winning the title had now gone. "I should pick out Petr Cech for doing some good saves," the interim manager said. "He was very brave regarding his injury past, putting his head very bravely in the dangerous situation. That's a personal victory for him."

Asked if Cech, who wears a scrum cap to protect his head (and for insurance reasons) following surgery on his skull after being struck by Reading's Stephen Hunt, had suffered any further injury during the collision, Hiddink added: "He's ok. He had some blood in his nose, but he's ok."

Cech has endured a difficult time of late, being at fault for goals against Bolton Wanderers in the league and then in a shaky display against Liverpool in the Champions League.

However although Hiddink has admitted to concern over the 26-year-old goalkeeper's form he added: "I've not been tempted to rest him. He's had some difficult times, but he worked well and was relaxed. He showed what he is capable of, as he has in the past.

"Every now and again every player has the right to have a period when he's not at peak performance, but it was very short. We spoke, but not dramatically, about the situation."

Chelsea captain John Terry also sprang to Cech's defence. "For all those people who have had a pop a Big Pete recently  just a reminder," Terry said, "we've let in fewer goals than any other Premier League team this season.

"He's our mate, he's the best in the world and when he comes out in the last minute at Wembley (in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal) and gets through a crowd of players to punch the ball clear, we love him."


Source: Telegraph