Britannia Stadium

Next Game

Stoke v Chelsea

Monday, 22 December 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

iPro Stadium

Last Game

Derby 1 - 3 Chelsea

Tuesday, 16 December 2014, 19:45

Capital One Cup Quarter-Final

Benitez backs Torres to fire

Rafael Benitez is confident striker Fernando Torres can return to being an unstoppable force

Last Updated: 19/05/13 at 08:34 Post Comment

Torres: Benitez still has full faith in striker

Torres: Benitez still has full faith in striker

Rafael Benitez is confident striker Fernando Torres can return to being an unstoppable force as the interim boss prepares for his final competitive game at Chelsea.

Torres has endured a challenging two-and-a-half year spell at Stamford Bridge since his £50million move from Liverpool in January 2011.

It was his performances at Liverpool, under Benitez, which persuaded Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to part with the sum which has at times appeared to be a burden for the World Cup-winning striker.

Torres is still to score a Barclays Premier League goal in 2013 ahead of Sunday's match with Everton - a game which will determine whether Chelsea finish third or fourth - but netted six goals in six Europa League appearances, including in the final as the Blues beat Benfica in the Amsterdam final on Wednesday.

"It's more than just me," said Benitez, when asked about Torres' improvement, before he cited assistant coaches Steve Holland, Boudewijn Zenden and fitness coaches Paco de Miguel and Chris Jones for their efforts.

"They have improved him. He has more pace, more confidence and he can score important goals for us. He has to keep working in the same way and I think that with a pre-season he will have plenty of team to improve himself physically.

"It's a question of keeping training the same way that he's training now and with confidence, he has the potential."

Torres, who last found the net in the Premier League against Aston Villa in December, has cut a forlorn figure at times, ploughing a lone furrow up front.

Benitez added: "When you see a striker that is not scoring as many goals as he wants to score, this can happen. Now he's enjoying himself."

On his arrival, Benitez felt Chelsea could mount a Premier League title challenge, but a congested season - Sunday's match will be the Blues' 69th of the campaign - has played its part in ensuring that ambition was never close to being fulfilled.

To take on Manchester United, Benitez felt Chelsea needed to sign players in January and augment a squad which is packed with quality, but short of numbers in a transitional period, following the departures of the likes of Didier Drogba.

Benitez refused to criticise the board for not weighing into the transfer market, with striker Demba Ba the one major January addition, but he has fulfilled his brief by delivering a Champions League return.

"Always [it] can be better," Benitez said.

"We cannot change what happened and we have to think of the future as a positive. The club had an idea. We have been successful in one of the big competitions and we are virtually qualified for the Champions League. So in the end it was fine."

With champions Manchester United and Manchester City under new management next season, as well as Chelsea, Benitez will be intrigued by what happens.

"It will be interesting to see what happens next year with the top three," he said.

"[Chelsea are] a team with quality and more experience now. I think it will be better next year."

With David Moyes joining Manchester United as successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, Everton are seeking a new boss, but Benitez cannot envisage a future at Goodison Park, even though his family home remains on The Wirral.

Asked specifically about Everton, Benitez, whose preference is to stay in England, said: "I don't think it would be easy for them to approach me and it would not be easy for me to go there.

"I have to be consistent with my ideas. I have a lot of respect for Everton, but it would be very difficult."

Benitez is leaving his future in his agent's hands and is awaiting an official approach.

But he expects to be in a management role come the start of next season.

He said: "I don't see too many top sides in England available at the moment. Still there are opportunities around the world.

"I think it's important to find the right club. You have to wait, not be impatient and see what happens.

"I have an agent who has to do his job. I cannot be too worried about that, because we're involved in massive competitions and we have to do concentrate on our job and he [his agent] has to do his job."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

tk421
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

Footer 365

Premier League: Neil Warnock blasts officials after Crystal Palace's 3-0 defeat at Man City

Neil Warnock said the decision to disallow a Crystal Palace goal in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City was "disgraceful".

Jose Mourinho rejects idea of retrospective action against divers

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says it would be a "disaster" to punish divers retrospectively.

Premier League: Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal are prepared to spend in January

Arsene Wenger says he won't buy for the sake of it but has vowed to spend in January if the right player is available.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

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