By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger believes that Chelsea have fed off the experience of interim manager Guus Hiddink.

The Dutchman took the reigns at Stamford Bridge in mid-February and will retain control until the end of the season. It is strange scenario for a major club but it has proved beneficial. Hiddink’s 12 games in charge have brought nine wins, two draws and a solitary defeat at Tottenham.

As a result, Chelsea are favourites to win the FA Cup Semi-Final on Saturday, despite the fact they are playing an Arsenal side who are unbeaten in domestic football since November 22.

Arsène Wenger had been highly impressed by Hiddink’s impact at Stamford Bridge.

“I rate him highly,” said the Frenchman. “When you come to his age and have survived in top level competition then you have quality.

“He has had an impact straight away. The players have quickly felt the vibes of the manager.

“He is an experienced coach and he has given them what he knows about the game – belief, strength.

“It is always difficult to assess in a short period of time. But I believe if Hiddink stays for five years at Chelsea he will certainly print his own way on to the club. In the short term you try to have an impact but on little things. If you have to stay a longer period you want to get your ways really into the club.”

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17 Apr 2009