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

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

EXCLUSIVE: Captain Hugo Lloris says he has always been confident he would play for Tottenham in the Champions League – and he has credited head coach Mauricio Pochettino for the club’s success this season.

Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason

Ryan Mason says he has no complaints about being restricted to substitute appearances and understands why he has only played a bit-part role in the decisive weeks of Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge.

Leicester City's Wes Morgan (centre) celebrates after scoring against Manchester United

It’s funny how tribalism can consume you in football. Over the last few years, I imagine that most of us have been guilty of retreating into our respective corners of fandom, and with good reason: there isn’t a lot else to like.

15:54
Saracens' Jacques Burger leaves the field after being replaced in his last match at Allianz Park

Saracens boss Mark McCall described Jacques Burger as “the toughest and bravest rugby player there is” after the flanker played his final game for the club before retiring.

Yesterday, 14:41
Spurs Ladies midfielder Shannon Moloney. Pic: Getty Images/Tottenham Hotspur

Midfielder Shannon Moloney was disappointed with Spurs Ladies’ performance as they lost the second of their three cup finals – and she says the Lilywhites are determined to make amends and win another trophy this weekend.

Tottenham goalscorer Harry Kane (left) grapples with Chelsea captain John Terry during last night's 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, which ended Spurs' title challenge

Harry Kane believes Tottenham showed their fighting spirit in last night’s fiery derby clash against Chelsea – but he feels they should have controlled the game better as they threw away another lead.

Mon, 22:18
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur turns away to celebrate after scoring the opening goal at Chelsea  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge was ended by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after they threw away a two-goal lead in a fiery and ill-tempered London derby.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he felt compelled to confirm his commitment to Tottenham to prove to the club’s current stars and prospective signings that he will be staying at White Hart Lane.

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe