Chelsea plan to win the FA Cup as a parting gift for Guus Hiddink, a coach who has brought the same sort of buzz to Stamford Bridge as his charismatic predecessor Jose Mourinho, said captain John Terry.
Speaking after a training session for the Wembley final against Everton, Terry said the London side wanted the Dutch manager to stay but admired his commitment to the Russian national side and wanted to give him the perfect send off.
"The players love working with a manager who's enthusiastic, who leaves that buzz around the place, who has players on the edge of their seats when they talk," Terry said.
"Mourinho was very much the same. We'll always have a special place for Mourinho and I'm sure we'll have that for Guus as well."
Inter Milan coach Mourinho led Chelsea to two Premier League titles, two League Cups, two Champions League semi-finals and an FA Cup before he left after falling out with Russian owner Roman Abramovich in 2007.
Hiddink took over last February after the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari with Chelsea in the doldrums and team spirit ebbing. They finished third in the Premier League and came within a whisker of beating Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.
"It would be a lovely way to send the manager off with the FA Cup back at Stamford Bridge," Terry said. "You can see our tempo of training for him. We are three days away from being on our holidays and the lads are pushing right through to the end.
"He's made some great changes on the pitch but it's round the camp as well the way he conducts himself. He's got total respect."
Abramovich struck a deal with the Russian football federation to allow Hiddink, 62, to steer Chelsea to the end of the season before returning to help the national side qualify for next year's World Cup.
The players have tried hard to persuade him to stay but Terry said they understood his promise to Russia.
"We admire him for sticking to his word. He's a great man to do that because he's thoroughly enjoyed it here - he's said that to us. It's just a shame but there's only one way to see him off and if we can win that trophy and make him a happy man we'd love to do that," Terry said.
AC Milan's Carlo Ancelotti has been linked with the Chelsea job but Terry said he was taking no notice of of the rumours and was happy to leave the club in charge of appointing Hiddink's successor. "We would like to win this cup then go away for the summer and not read anything or listen to speculation," he said.
Fellow England defender Ashley Cole, hoping to lift the trophy for a fifth time, said the excitement and anticipation of the Cup had never waned.
"When you get there with the fans and the occasion, you get butterflies," the 28-year-old full back said. "To be in another final is brilliant." Cole won three times with Arsenal and again under Mourinho with Chelsea in 2007, the first time the final was held at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium.