Benitez: I had to use squad

Rafa Benitez has defended his decision to ring the changes at Southampton as he prepares for Monday's FA Cup quarter-final replay against Manchester United.

Last Updated: 31/03/13 at 14:09 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Changes galore ended with defeat at Southampton

Rafa Benitez: Changes galore ended with defeat at Southampton

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Chelsea boss brought in seven reinforcements at St Mary's on Saturday and the Blues paid for it with a 2-1 defeat that allowed Tottenham Hotspur to move past them into third in the Premier League table and Arsenal to close within two points.

But he feels a run of five games inside two weeks, which includes the first-leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Rubin Kazan, forced his hand and meant he had to make use of some of his fringe options.

"You have to make decisions and use the squad," Benitez said.

"Southampton is a good team on one level and Manchester United is another team on another level.

"In the league, you have more games to play and will be going to the end. In the FA Cup you have one game and you will be out.

"You have to find the balance for players who are playing more games or less games.

"I have confidence that we will finish in the top four and maybe we can win one or two trophies.

"I have the belief and the confidence in these players because they have the quality and if they realise that we have to start games with the same intensity as the second half (against Southampton), we can beat anyone.

"This one is so close. 48 hours, less than 48 hours, you have to make decisions. If you have three days, four days you can manage in a different way. But two days between games is not easy.

"It (the performance against United) has to be good. Everybody knows this is a massive game against a very good side in a massive competition. It has to be positive for the players."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

f he can find the right player? Surely the manager of one of Europe's top clubs has a well-researched short-list and has a good idea of who he wants to bring on-board? If I can find the right player sounds like someone going out on Saturday night on the pull, and the nearer you get to midnight the lower your standards drop.

CamberleyGooner
Wenger to buy centre-half

C

an someone point Brenda towards the real premier league table rather than the imaginary table in Brenda Land

bludsucker
Rodgers still targets top four

P

lease, please 365 can you find out what he drinks and let me know?

citymanofoz
Rodgers still targets top four

Footer 365

Transfer news: Inter Milan reveal interest in Liverpool midfielder Lucas but not Tottenham's Aaron Lennon

Inter Milan have dismissed reports they want Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon during January, but admit Liverpool's Lucas is a target.

Scottish Championship: Chairman David Somers says Rangers 'living beyond their means for years'

Rangers chairman David Somers claims a number of 'legacy issues' from previous boards have contributed to the current financial state of the club.

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger will buy a centre-half in January

Arsene Wenger will buy a centre-half if he can find "the right player" and says he has no qualms about spending money.

Mail Box

Wenger Has Made Arsenal Mentally Weak

We have plenty of reaction to yesterday's result, with Mailers sick of Wenger, Mertesacker and Skrtel in particular. Plus why it's not yet time for 'Austin for England'...

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...

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