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

35 minutes ago

Mauricio Pochettino is expecting a quiet January transfer window at Tottenham – and he says the club has already shown its ambition by extending the contracts of 10 players.

14:13

Mauricio Pochettino says Jose Mourinho will go down in history as one of the best football managers ever as Tottenham prepare to visit Manchester United on Sunday.

Yesterday, 12:00

Jan Vertonghen believes Tottenham can win the Europa League after last night’s victory over CSKA Moscow secured a place in the last 32 of the competition.

Yesterday, 12:00

Dele Alli feels Tottenham are “turning a corner” after securing back-to-back victories in the last week.

Yesterday, 11:59

Sapo Verde Under-11s conceded just a single goal in eight games as they clinched the Camden & Islington League Development Cup at Market Road.

Yesterday, 08:00

Head coach Peter Breen says Hampstead have been driven on to improve by Belsize Park’s progress, and he believes a new local rivalry will help to get the best out of his side as the two clubs prepare to meet in Saturday’s derby clash.

Tottenham ended their run of defeats at Wembley Stadium by beating CSKA Moscow 3-1, finishing third in Group E of the Champions League and thereby qualifying for the last 32 of the Europa League. Here are five talking points.

Wed, 15:26

The 10th edition of the London Open finished at the weekend, with Englishman Charles Sharpes and Egypt’s Nada Abbas emerging victorious at Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club.

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

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