NIcholas Anelka Chelsea came from behind to see off Watford and reach FA Cup quarter-finals as relieved new manager looks on from stands.
Chelsea required a late hat-trick from Nicolas Anelka on Saturday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the fourth successive season after trailing 1-0 to lowly Championship side Watford with 20 minutes to play.
Guus Hiddink, placed in charge last week until the end of the season, visited the dressing-room after the game and must have felt as much relief as satisfaction with a wasteful performance.
The London side had more than 20 attempts on goal but only Anelka could convert one and it took a switch from the normal 4-3-3 formation to prevent a repetition of last season's embarrassing Cup defeat by Barnsley.
Ray Wilkins, who chose the team and the tactics, said: "We had a scare but overall the performance merited a victory. We showed tremendous character to come back. People keep saying it's been a difficult season but we're still in three competitions."
Watford's manager, Brendan Rodgers, a former Chelsea employee, was "very proud of the club, supporters and players".