Cape Town - Guus Hiddink has backed Chelsea to return to the top of the European game after a 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday knocked them out of the Champions League.
The Blues were trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Paris, but goals from Adrian Rabiot and Zlatan Ibrahimovic either side of Diego Costa's effort saw them beaten by the same scoreline at Stamford Bridge and dumped out of the tournament with a 4-2 aggregate defeat.
"I am disappointed," Hiddink said. "When you analyse the game we started too respectfully in the first 10 or 15 minutes, but they are a team who know the short possession game very well and you must be careful not to be outplayed in the first part of the match.
"We were too respectful but later on, at 1-0 down, we lost that wrong respect and we tried to defend more forcefully, we won duels and we got a deserved equaliser.
"There were chances both ways after that in the first half. In the second half we pushed, we tried to make it 2-1.
"We had chances to score in the 65th minute, we didn't do so and in the 67th minute with a little attack they killed the game."
The defeat means that Chelsea are out of this season's competition and, in all likeliness, next season's as well, as they are currently 10 points off of a top-four finish in the Premier League.
"In my opinion, Chelsea are now in a transitional period from where they have to see how to go on, and to try to regain the lost terrain where Chelsea used to be. That's true," the Dutch coach continued.
"It's difficult to get into fourth position, there is a very big gap. Chelsea must consider its short-term future on how to handle this, but they knew that beforehand."