Benitez brushes off headlines

Rafa Benitez brushed off reports about his future as Chelsea interim manager being in doubt as 'speculation'.

Last Updated: 10/02/13 at 08:32 Post Comment

Saturday's newspapers carried headlines suggesting defeat to Wigan could see Benitez sacked by Roman Abramovich.

But Chelsea won 4-1, leaving Benitez pleased and able to sweep aside any talk about his future.

"I didn't see the papers, I was just concentrating on the game," Benitez told Sky Sports.

"But I think they are just speculating - they have no clues, it is just talk and talk."

Benitez was also once again asked about the subject of Frank Lampard and his future.

"As I have said it is not my decision [about his contract], I have said I am trying to improve him if possible because he is a great professional, he is scoring a lot of goals for us, so I am pleased for him," he said.

"He is doing well as I said before, hopefully he can score 20 goals - he can score a lot of goals for the team so we are really pleased."

Benitez was pleased to see Chelsea return to winning ways as they won their first Premier League match for three games.

"The team was working very hard, you can see the commitment of the players and we were thinking about different options today," he said.

"We had Luiz and Hazard and that allowed me to manage the 11 that started and the substitutions, so it is important to have players coming back.

"We played with three at the back which allowed Rami (Ramires) to run as he has the legs and Rami scored the first goal, it was good to see the understanding of the players and when you have a game plan they can do it, so it is really pleasing."

He admitted that he was disappointed not to keep a clean sheet but he praised the finish from Shaun Maloney for Wigan.

"I felt we had the chance today as the team was playing really well but it was a good goal as the first touch was good so credit to him," he said.

"Our team reacted well - Yossi coming back, Mata coming back and Marko Marin scoring the goal so there are a lot of positives."

Despite the victory being their first win since the middle of January, Benitez claims they could have easily won all their recent matches.

"We have been close in all the games, the team is doing well and we are scoring goals, but we have made some mistakes but we are really close. We scored four goals and could have scored more here, and we can improve and if we can keep the balance we will win games," he added.

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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