Chelsea captain John Terry was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle on Wahbi Khazri in the final minute of injury time at the Stadium of Light and Sunday, and will now serve a two-match suspension for his second dismissal of the season.
The punishment rules Terry out of Chelsea’s two remaining Premier League matches and, with the 35-year-old’s contract set to expire this summer, it is possible that his 703rd competitive appearance in a blue shirt may prove to be his last.
Chelsea interim boss put on his blue covered glasses after the match and criticized referee Mike Jones’ decision to send off Terry, claiming that Jones should have taken more time to make up his mind before issuing a second yellow card.
“Very disappointing,” Hiddink told BBC Radio 5live when asked about Terry’s dismissal. “It was a decision made a little bit over the top.
“Both players went for the ball and in the intensity of this game the referee was too close. I think he should have thought five seconds more and it was too harsh to make this decision.”
Asked in his news conference if Terry’s appearance on Wearside would be his last, Hiddink said: “For the club, I don’t know, but it’s sad, of course, that he was sent off for a second yellow, and it’s the second sending-off, which by the rules means he will suspended [for both games].
“I think the referee [Mike Jones] was too close to the incident. Normally we say, ‘Referee, be close to what can happen,’ but I think he was too close and an impulsive reaction made him draw the yellow card.
“With a little bit more distance, 10 yards more, he could have thought, ‘Hey, these two guys went intensively for the duel’ — it was an intense game and he has to consider a bit the intensity of the game and this duel as well.
“He was too close, for me, and took too harsh a decision.”
Asked if it would be a sad way for Terry to end his Chelsea career, Hiddink said:
“Yes, of course. We don’t know what his future is at this moment but for this season, it’s sad because it would have been lovely to have had in our last game at home, the Leicester game, the champions and have a very nice party game, let’s call it that, and it’s sad that he is not participating in that.”
Terry cut a disconsolate figure in the away dressing room after the game with Hiddink revealing: “Of course, he was sitting and staring — when players and coaches are defeated, after a game, then everyone is sitting and staring a bit and then, of course, thinking a lot.
“I haven’t talked to him so far, but you can imagine a bit the mood.”
Chelsea twice led in the first half at the Stadium of Light, with goals from Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic cancelling out Khazri’s 30-yard thunderbolt, but Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe struck inside three second-half minutes to snatch a vital win for Sunderland.
“We started very well, scored the first goal and should have made it 0-2 or 0-3 in the first half,” Hiddink added. “We invited them back into the game a bit in the first half, because they were waiting for the kill and we didn’t do so. That’s the only thing I can criticise the team for.
“In the second half we should have finished it off, and we didn’t do so by failing in our final part. We let them into the game and they got encouraged by that, and also by their fans. We let them in the game and they did very well to materialise that in the end.”