Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez says the decision to drop
playmaker Juan Mata to the bench for the dour 0-0 draw with Fulham on
Wednesday was simply to give him a rest, and he will do the same with
had a tough introduction from the Chelsea fans since replacing popular
Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo a little over a week ago.
Mata, who has scored four goals and set up another six in 12 Premier
League appearances this season, for Ryan Bertrand also did not go down
well with the Stamford Bridge faithful.
speaking to reporters ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to West
Ham United, Benitez said he wanted to rotate the squad to
keep players fit and fresh.
idea is to use the squad, we have too many players playing almost every
game, so we have 11 or 12 playing almost every game, and the other
players didn't have too many minutes," the Spaniard said on Friday.
"So we will try to fix this, you cannot play two, three games in eight days and be fully fit.
lose some pace, you lose some energy, so you manage the squad, we have
quality, so you can manage the squad and give some minutes to every
player, especially now we have Japan [for the Club World Cup]."
have nine matches in December, when, as well as a typically crowded
Christmas fixture list, they travel to Japan for the Club World Cup.
who scored Spain's final goal in the Euro 2012 final victory against
Italy, has been in dynamic form this season, and Benitez said he had a
major role to play as third-placed Chelsea look to close the gap on
Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the table.
"He is one of the best players, for sure."
scoreless draws with City and Fulham, Benitez is looking to kick-start
his reign against London rivals West Ham who have lost their past two
He will be without
John Terry (knee injury), Frank Lampard (calf) and Daniel Sturridge
(hamstring) while England centre half Gary Cahill returns in place of
the suspended Brazilian David Luiz.
we've looked really good in the last two games," said Cahill. "The new
manager has come in and organised it so we're not as open.
"He's changed the mindset of the players when they haven't got the ball, that's the main thing.
the start of the season we did it well and had a balance in the team
and kept clean sheets while scoring goals but we lost our way
especially at Juventus where we were so open," said Cahill referring to
last week's 3-0 Champions League defeat.
no way we can keep clean sheets like that so the mentality of getting
back into a good shape when we lose the ball has returned, making sure
everyone is the right side of the ball."
Champions want to roll on
Centre-back "fit enough" if not 100%
Former Chelsea and Liverpool boss poised to join Napoli, says Serie A club's president
Legend tips underdog
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010