Benitez rejects bust-up talk

Rafa Benitez has again been forced to deny reports of a row with Chelsea captain John Terry.

Last Updated: 27/02/13 at 20:51 Post Comment

Rumours of a heated training-ground exchange between Chelsea's interim manager and his senior players appeared in the national press less than 24 hours after their 2-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Terry was on the bench at the Etihad Stadium, and the captain's lack of playing time since returning from a knee injury in January has led to claims of a strained relationship with Benitez.

Both men rubbished those reports earlier this month, and Benitez continues to insist there is a "really good atmosphere" in the dressing room.

He said: "This was a normal meeting between players and technical staff, which happens after every game. It was normal talk, nothing else. You show your disappointment, that is normal.

"I can understand the frustration of Terry, an important player for us who's trying to help and push because he wants to win, but he has been injured for 16 weeks and has had problems with his knee.

"He's missed some training sessions. So we are managing him. He wants to win, but we have to manage our players.

"It was very brief exchange of ideas, and that is it, nothing else. It is just a team talk after a defeat. We had a meeting on the training pitch with my players and technical staff, which is part of our business."

Asked about his relationship with the Chelsea players, Benitez said: "It is fantastic. I have no problem."

Important

Benitez maintains everyone is united at the club to make sure they end the campaign on a positive note, having slipped down to third in the table following Tottenham's late win at West Ham.

"They are a good group of players, working hard and keen to learn. They were disappointed like me with the defeat, but that's it," he said.

"(We want to finish in the) top three, it is really important for us but, being a top side, we have to try and win every game.

"Middlesbrough were doing really well, but they have also had some games with problems.

"They have a good manager and a good team. They will give everything in the FA Cup, so it will be difficult."

With Chelsea continuing their progress in Europe, a replay in the FA Cup would be the last thing they need, should the Blues fail to set up a quarter-final tie with Manchester United at the first time of asking.

Benitez, though, maintains the team will only be looking to the next match on what is fast becoming a packed fixture list.

"We will try to win, for sure, that would be better, no? In my head, the only thing is just to win," he said.

"The team that has played more games in Europe is Chelsea, but we have to carry on and manage the squad as well as we can.

"It is not ideal, but it is something we have to do. We have done it in the past with top sides and we will do the same."

Centre-back Gary Cahill has a virus, while full-back Cesar Azpilicueta has "discomfort in his leg", so Benitez will have to make some adjustments in defence.

Terry played for the Blues against Sparta Prague in their Europa League last-32 second-leg clash last week, but Benitez warned the former England skipper must continue to be carefully managed.

"He had the plan before and we have to decide (what is best)," Benitez said. "He was training (today) and could finish the training session today, so he could play (at Middlesbrough)."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

B

rilliant article. Anything that makes a man of Scolari's age wear a cap with a hashtag on it will surely precede a disaster

westwoodbo
Brazil Team Over-Subscribed To Idea Of Neymar As Deity

R

ather than Sanchez nearly done could you provide the completion status please? Maybe today Sanchez deal 72% done and then tomorrow Sanchez deal 74.3% done , leading up to 100% on the evening of the transfer window close day. Thank you.

CamberleyGooner
The Autopilot Gossip

L

ast five Arsenal captains: Gallas, Fabregas, Van Persie, Vermaelen, Arteta. Talk about a poisoned chalice...

juan de gunnaz
The Sluggish Gossip

Footer 365

Transfer news: Arsenal complete signing of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for a fee believed to be £35million.

World Cup: Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal insists third-place play-off

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal insists a World Cup third-place play-off "has got nothing to do whatsoever with sport."

FIFA rejects Luis Suarez appeal against ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini

FIFA has rejected an appeal from Luis Suarez against his four-month worldwide ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.

Mail Box

Mails: It's Not Entertainment, It's Sport...

When did we start getting the idea that football was an entertainment business? It's about winning and winning alone. We also have some defences of Louis van Gaal...

Do England Need Scholes, Lineker Etc?

They've all got ideas about where things are going wrong, so why don't they step up and help? Plus, we have lots of fall-out from the dullness of Holland v Argentina...

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