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 Sport Stories

Yesterday, 13:51
Hampstead's Under-10 A team show off their trophy and medals after winning the shield at the Middlesex County Championships

March has been a very successful month for Hampstead’s juniors as 10 teams took part in the Middlesex County Championships over three weekends, securing four pieces of silverware.

Yesterday, 13:10
Hendon's John McCarthy scored the opening try. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hendon will go into the final game with a good shot at promotion in Herts/Middlesex Division Two after beating Thamesians 24-14 at home on Saturday.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
NLS WK13 15 Hendon's Gary McCann foot on ball

Thursday evening was a special one for Hendon FC, as the club fulfilled its first competitive fixture at new home Silver Jubilee Park. Playing only a few miles away from the site of their old ground Claremont Road,

Friday, March 27, 2015
Jordan Nobbs, Arsenal Ladies. Pic: TGSPHOTO

Jordan Nobbs believes Arsenal Ladies are ready to challenge for the league title again after their disappointing slump to fourth place last season.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Funky adidias iPhone cases up for grabs!

We’ve teamed up with adidas Originals to give away four iPhone 5/5s cases.

A Sun-Maid goodie bag could be coming your way.

Easter is a time for reflection, thanks and celebration, and what better way could there be to spend the holiday than treating yourself to good company and great food?

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder