Goodison Park

Next Game

Everton v Chelsea

Saturday, 30 August 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 2 - 0 Leicester

Saturday, 23 August 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Benitez: We're getting there

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez is pleased by the way the side are progressing under his stewardship.

Last Updated: 21/02/13 at 07:36 Post Comment

Rafael Benitez: Hoping to continue recent momenttum

Rafael Benitez: Hoping to continue recent momenttum

Interim manager Rafael Benitez may not have enjoyed the easiest ride at Chelsea so far but is pleased by the way the side are progressing under his stewardship.

The former Liverpool boss was a far from popular appointment at Stamford Bridge in November when he came in as replacement for fan favourite Roberto di Matteo.

Yet, while most of the headlines this week surround Arsenal's failings, the west Londoners could still end the season with success.

Second place in the Premier League remains within grasp and an FA Cup quarter-final awaits, while Europa League glory is still a possibility.

They face Sparta Prague tonight as they look to reach the last 16 of the Europa League, with Chelsea leading 1-0 from the first leg in what is Benitez's 25th match at the helm.

"My job is to prepare for the next game," the Spaniard said.

"We've played so many games in just three months and 25 games so think a bit about that. We haven't been able to train like we'd like to.

"We are still improving a lot of things but you also have to win games. As soon as you lose or draw, everything changes.

"But the team is working very hard, the staff are working very hard and I think we're going in the right direction."

Benitez will be hoping to continue that momentum against Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge, where Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic are being rested and Demba Ba is cup-tied.

"At the moment this is the priority as we play Sparta Prague tomorrow," Benitez said.

"One game at a time and that is the most important game we have to play.

"I was not just analysing their players, but the performance of the team.

"I think the team had a good idea about what they wanted to do. The manager did a good job.

"The shape of the team, movement and patterns were good and we were talking about the before. We know it will not be an easy game. For sure."

More than 3,000 visiting fans are expected this evening and Sparta Prague boss Vitezslav Lavicka has pledged to give them something to cheer about.

"We expect that Chelsea will play the best they can to win," he said.

"We are coming here 1-0 down, which makes it a difficult situation for us but we still have a clear intention to play our best and try to surprise tomorrow.

"It is going to be a tough, tough game for us but we have a clear intention to do our best. We will try to qualify, which is what we want."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Indian Super League: Ex-Juventus star David Trezeguet eyes Alessandro Del Piero reunion

David Trezeguet welcomes the impending arrival of ex Juventus team-mate Alessandro Del Piero in the Indian Super League

Transfer news: Ajax say Manchester United have not made approach for Daley Blind

Ajax have had "no contact at all" from Man United over Daley Blind, who will only leave for the "absolute top price".

Transfer news: Nikola Zigic's agent confirms Arsenal's interest

The agent of ex-Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic has told SPORT that Arsenal have expressed an interest in his client.

Mail Box

Should Kagawa Play Ahead Of Mata?

That's one question posed in the afternoon mailbox, although it looks like the Japanese playmaker could soon be on his way. Plus, tipping Palace to go down under Warnock...

Well, This Isn't Going That Well Is It?

Plenty of fall out from Manchester United's shambolic 4-0 League Cup defeat, plus thoughts on Van Persie, Arsenal strikers, Benik Afobe, Celtic and Astroturf...

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