Search

Benitez hits back at criticism after QPR loss

PUBLISHED: 16:48 04 January 2013 | UPDATED: 23:09 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

17:34

Today’s Friday Fanzone Q&A talks to ‘Highbury Harold’ a member of the Black Scarf movement – the supporter group ‘that says it like it is’. Read on for this fourth generation Gooner’s views on all things Arsenal...

A look at how the White Hart Lane club have moved forward again this season despite improvement from most rival teams

11:30

Extra £410,000 to identify and support young talent

Yesterday, 12:29

All eyes will be on London North West Three where Hackney Rugby Club could potentially win the title if they comfortably beat bottom of the table Staines.

Yesterday, 09:37

Islington and Camden’s two District Primary School teams played out a pulsating semi-final in the Kay Trophy at Chase Lodge – with Islington just getting through on penalties.

Yesterday, 09:36

A school in Hampstead is ready to claim national glory at a major table tennis tournament.

Wed, 16:30

Kane will have to watch from his TV tonight as ‘unbelievable’ Dele Alli looks to improve his goalscoring record at international level

Wed, 12:00

Hendon manager Gary McCann has called on his side to remain focussed after a 2-1 victory over play-off chasing Needham Market.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

The Ham&High has teamed up with Weber® to celebrate the launch of its innovative Genesis® II collection at Weber® World at Sunshine Garden Centre in London.

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