Interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has hailed Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the England under-21 international came off the bench to score his first senior goal in the FA Cup win over Scunthorpe United. The 19-year-old scored the Blues' second after Diego Costa's opener to send the seven-time winners into the fourth round.
Loftus-Cheek's opportunities have been limited this season, with the midfielder making just a single start in the Premier League this term. But on as a half-time substitute for Oscar, he took his opportunity by converting Cesar Azpilicueta's cross to double the hosts' lead.
"It is nice," the Chelsea boss told BT Sport. "We have these youngsters and I know them now after three or four weeks and I know their abilities and it is always an option and I don't hesitate to bring them in. Very clean finish.
"He can be of big value now and he is 19 and I thought he was 22, 23 because he is a grown player already but he's 19 and we have to be careful. We are in a difficult situation to get fourth place in the Premier League and I say give them try. It will probably happen more.
"If you have an academy you must bring through the young players. They must cope to a certain level but then you must bring them through but you must back them up as well when things go wrong as well."
Costa opened the scoring after just 13 minutes as Chelsea threatened to blow away their League One opponents. The Spaniard has shown a dramatic improvement since the departure of Jose Mourinho, with four goals since the Portuguese manager was sacked, and Hiddink is delighted with his rebirth.
"He is a very energetic and powerful personality and those are not big conversations," he said. "They are small conversations around training but it is not easy. He is focusing himself on what he is good at. He is focusing on what he has to do.
"From a distance I watched a lot of the Premier League and particularly Chelsea and sometime you lose energy from being out of where you have to be. Don't do that, don't let people provoke you, don't go [on] trips and use your energy where you're good."