Guus Hiddink insists that Chelsea boo-boy Cesc Fabregas is not solely to blame​ for the Blues' current predicament.

The Spanish midfielder, along with teammates Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, was among those singled out by supporters for supposedly causing the sacking of their beloved boss Jose Mourinho in December.

The champions, who are currently 14th in the standings, were two places and five points worse off when the Portuguese was dismissed.

Despite a mini-revival, Chelsea are still 15 points off the top four places and Hiddink says the team, as a collective, are at fault for that.

"I think we are focusing too much on Cesc in this regard," said the Dutchman, as quoted by ​FourFourTwo.

"The whole team weren't doing well until December. It's not just one player.

"When you look at the goals conceded, that's not just our defence that is not good enough. It's the whole team’s performance.

"I don't want to focus on just one player who might need a bit more strength or ­whatever to get back into shape."

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League

Fabregas missed Monday's 0-0 draw at Old Trafford through illness, with John Obi Mikel filling his role alongside Nemanja Matic in midfield.

Hiddink says the former Barcelona man's place against Crystal Palace on Sunday is by no means guaranteed, although his ability to play in a more advanced 'No.10' role is likely to help his cause.

"He can play both [central and attacking midfield]. It depends also on the strength of the opponent. It's not just one fixed team," the 69-year-old said.


"There are games where we want a different balance. It's not about a goalie and 10 outfield players. We want 14 or 15 ­potentially good players who, when they're needed, can go into the line-up.

"One time it might be Mikel. The next it might be Cesc or others. It depends on the opponents, too."

Costa, like Fabregas, has also suffered from a loss of form in 2015-16, although Hiddink feels the six-goal striker needs better support from his teammates in order to improve on his tally. 

"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," said the Dutchman, as quoted by ​Goal..

"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.

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League

"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."

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