Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink thinks Tottenham Hotspur might have been affected by inexperience and anxiousness during the title run-in. The 69-year-old Dutchman said the performance of the Spurs team could have been undermined by "nerves" in their squad.
Spurs face their west London rivals at Stamford Bridge this evening (2 May), knowing that nothing less than a victory will keep their title hopes alive. But, according to Hiddink, Spurs have struggled to cope with the pressure of a title run-in, unlike Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City.
"They are now experiencing being at the top. I'm not much into statistics, but it's the first time in their history they're now in the end competing for the Premier League title," the Chelsea boss explained, according to Sky Sports.
"In some players it might cause nerves. They might under-perform a bit. Leicester are fearless but some Spurs players might be affected by being on top and think 'what now?' We shouldn't over-evaluate it in the sense it's just Tottenham. We desperately like to win, then the next game."
Chelsea skipper John Terry is set to return for their much-anticipated clash against Tottenham and Hiddink admits the out-of-contract star has been missed since his injury. "What the club likes to have is competition and he will react with competition; 'don't touch my spot'," he said of the Chelsea hero.
"Would we have done better with him in the team? Yes, that is the problem. I don't like to complain but, at the time, we didn't get through the Champions League or the FA Cup."