Search

Benitez hits back at criticism after QPR loss

16:48 04 January 2013

Rafael Benitez. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA wire

Rafael Benitez. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Chelsea’s Rafa Benitez dismissed criticism about his team selection in the 1-0 west London derby loss to QPR.

The Blues’ four-match winning run was dramatically ended on Wednesday by the R’s dogged performance with Benitez being panned for resting Eden Hazard and Juan Mata.

The defeat leaves Chelsea out of the title race with a 14-point gap to make up on Manchester United, yet Benitez pointed to how the team were lauded in previous weeks for bringing in squad players into a winning side.

“Rotating in the past a few years ago or in the last two weeks? Because we were winning games recently and everyone was praising us,” said the interim boss.

“You (the media) were saying that we were doing well and winning games in the last few games. You cannot be criticised and praised for the same thing.

Chelsea played nine games in December, which included a 6,000-mile return trip to Japan for the Fifa World Club Cup.

And with a relatively small squad that includes just one frontline striker in Fernando Torres, the former Inter Milan manager has been forced to frequently change his team.

“We are rotating the players because we have so many games,” added Benitez. “We have ambitions but we also have professionalism. We know and trust our players.”

The Blues play Southampton in the FA Cup this weekend with new signing Demba Ba available for domestic competitions – although the Senegalese forward is cup-tied for the Europa League.

And Benitez insists once again he will rotate his team if he feels it is best option.

“My strongest team maybe for some people are the big names but for me it is how each player is fitness wise leading up to game,” he said.

“All of the games are very important for us.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Fri, 15:16
Spencer McCall (right)

Hendon signing Spencer McCall believes the club should be challenging for the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs as an absolute minimum this season.

Fri, 07:45
Dominic Ogbechie was given the Outstanding Individual Boy award at last weeks Camden Sport and Physical Activity Celebration night. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Already standing 6ft 1in tall at the tender age of 14, Highgate Harriers’ Dominic Ogbechie clearly has a knack for defying gravity – and the sky is the limit for the prodigious teenager.

Fri, 07:00
St Aloysius' Junior School were top of the list in the Active School Awards and also won the Inclusive prize. Pics: Paolo Minoli

The success of the borough’s young sporting talents was celebrated at an awards night at the Camden Centre last Wednesday, with around 200 children attending to see 20 presentations.

Thu, 21:18
Eoin Morgan batting for Middlesex

Middlesex overcame Surrey in front of a record crowd at Lord’s to strengthen their hopes of reaching the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

Thu, 13:00
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll has entered his name into the Middlesex County League’s record books after scoring a century and taking eight wickets in a stunning individual display.

Thu, 12:30
Brondesbury's James Overy. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Brondesbury batsman James Overy feels the Harman Drive side have had a useful boost of confidence after they triumphed without their talismanic overseas star Glenn Phillips and leapt into the top two places in Division Two.

Thu, 10:00
Robert Morris, David Bedford OBE, Ann John OBE and Simon Lawrence at the official opening of Hendon's new ground at Silver Jubilee Park (Pic: DBeechPhotography)

Hendon officially opened their new ground at Silver Jubilee Park on Monday as the Ryman League Premier Division side embark on an exciting new chapter in their history.

Thu, 07:10
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

At this stage of the season, you want to make sure you’re still involved in all three competitions, and that’s certainly the case at Middlesex.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now