Benitez praises Torres' work

Rafa Benitez has attempted to deflect more criticism of Fernando Torres' form in front of goal ahead of Chelsea's do-or-die UEFA Champions League game against Nordsjaelland.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 21:49 Post Comment

Fernando Torres: The Spaniard has failed to find the net in two months for Chels

Fernando Torres: The Spaniard has failed to find the net in two months for Chels

Several Chelsea managers have tried a similar tactic, such as praising the 28-year-old's work-rate or number of assists, despite his poor scoring return.

But Chelsea's current interim boss, Benitez, has now resorted to applauding the most mundane of contributions from the man Chelsea paid a record £50million for almost two years ago - his defending.

"It's not just scoring goals," said Benitez when discussing his fellow Spaniard's latest performance at West Ham United.

"We changed his position in corners, for example. If you analyse the corners against, he was amazing.

"Two or three times he's cleared the ball and afterwards was just doing man-to-man, because it's what he had to do. So, he's helping the team, in this case to defend.

"As a striker, you like him to score goals. Winning is the main thing. Fernando will be an important player for us, is an important player for us."

He added: "We had a training session with finishing and Fernando scored a lot of goals.

"I think he has more confidence and his team-mates know he's trying very hard and that is the main thing for me."

Benitez also sidestepped questions over whether Torres would ever have a better chance than Wednesday night's game against Nordsjaelland to break his latest goal drought.

Other than a somewhat fluky goal against Shakhtar Donetsk, the striker has failed to find the net in two months.

Nordsjaelland are easily the weakest opponents Chelsea have faced during that period but Benitez said: "I said to our players before, 'Be careful. They're a team with nothing to lose'.

"When you play with no pressure, it's not easy."

Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar

Footer 365

Transfer News: Manchester City in talks with Frank Lampard over loan move

Frank Lampard's representatives are in talks with Manchester City over a loan move, according to Sky sources.

Transfer news: Arsene Wenger admits Thomas Vermaelen could leave Arsenal this summer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger plans to make more signings this summer, but admits captain Thomas Vermaelen could leave.

Guus Hiddink vows to build on success of Holland predecessor Louis van Gaal

New Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink has vowed to build on the success of predecessor Louis van Gaal.

Mail Box

Are Villa Fans The Lowest Of Them All?

With the possible exception of Blackpool, are any club's fans feeling any more depressed about the start of the season than Villa? We also have a bizarre suggestion and...

How Can Tim Sherwood Be Out Of Work?

Don't peple know his PPG was THE BEST EVER FOR A SPURS MANAGER? We also have mails on Luis Suarez, the new fashion for 3-5-2 and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property