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The nuisance box-player has paid tribute to the Blues' interim manager.

A number of Chelsea's more prominent stars publicly noted their distaste over the acrimonious departure of charismatic and seemingly much-needed, Jose Mourinho.

Didier Drogba's unhappiness at Stamford Bridge has long been documented and it was even believed that the Ivorian international may have been available in the winter window as a return to Olympique Marseille gathered credence.

Any such transfer may be put on hold for the foreseeable future though as Drogba has revealed his admiration for Chelsea's interim boss, Guus Hiddink.

"You haven't lost your Drogba, he was just not playing," Drogba told The Times in the aftermatch of the club's 1-0 win over Juventus at home in the Champions League.

"Being judged when you are playing is much easier, and to the contrary, when you are not playing you can be criticised. At the moment I feel good when I'm on the pitch and I make the most of those priceless moments. I'm not at my best because I think I need more games but I'm giving what I can at the moment.

"The truth is that the coach relies on me, which is a massive psychological boost for a striker. Physically, I'm not ready yet," he declared, "but I need to play to get back in good form. There's no sense of revenge at all, that's my game and that's it. I've always been like that, I try to give my maximum and sometimes it's with success.

"You can see from the last two games that Hiddink is working a lot on the shape of the team, the organisation, you have to respect that because we know we will have chances to score goals."

It was Drogba's well-taken first half goal when he beat the offside trap that was the difference between the Premier League's relatively recent superpower and the Serie A's Old Lady, Juventus, and the soon-to-be 31-year-old believes progression is likely, providing they go to Turin to play positively.

"We have a good chance. We have to go there and play. I'm very excited to go there. It's been a long time since I scored, so to score that type of goal against that type of team was very important for me. If we qualify, I will say that goal was really important.

"We need to score there definitely. Maybe get a draw, or not to concede and score one. It's not going to be easy but I think we have the team to do it.

"It will also be an open game because they have to score. So I think we will have some chances. I think one goal will be enough. The good thing is we didn't concede so we have to do something with that," he concluded.

Alan Dawson,