Written by Bede NNAJI

’Almost impossible’ - Hiddink gives up on top four

Guus Hiddink believes finishing in the Premier League's top four is "almost impossible" for Chelsea following a 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Saturday.

Bertrand Traore fired the reigning champions into a first-half lead at Stamford Bridge, but Stoke equalised through Mame Biram Diouf five minutes from time.

The result leaves Chelsea in 10th position, 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City, who occupy the final Champions League qualification berth.

Hiddink thinks closing that gap is beyond them, though he is proud of how much the team have improved since his arrival in December.

"[The top four] is almost impossible, especially when other teams are also knocking on that door," he said.

"On the other hand, we [have] come from one point off the relegation zone in December, and we got safe in a relatively short space of time.

"Going to the middle of the table, by Chelsea's normal standards, is not enough."

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