Benitez sticks to his guns at Chelsea
By Football News
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez stands by his squad rotation policy, even though his players are against it.
The Spaniard insists resting his players is crucial to their success, but Chelsea stalwarts Frank Lampard and John Terry, both left on the bench for Sunday's FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, have declared they are fit to play the remaining nine fixtures.
"If you analyse our reaction in our second halves we show quality, character and energy so I think that to manage the squad is part of our job," Benitez said.
"You can see that we still have some legs and some determination to win games.
"As you say, we have had a lot of games, and we still have nine or 10 games left to play.
"All the players in the squad are important and have been important and it has to be the same until the end. We have to manage the squad and we will do it until the end.
Chelsea face Fulham in a London derby on Wednesday no longer with the double burden of the FA Cup and Europa League to deal with.
"Every game is important until the end of the season, obviously if we win this one we will be in the top three again and we have to concentrate, get all three points and be ready for the next challenge which will be on Sunday," he said.
Chelsea battled back in the second half of the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley before falling 2-1 to City, just three days after sealing their place in the semi-finals of the Europa League against Rubin Kazan in Russia.
"We did well in the second half and should have scored another goal, but you have to take the positives and the positive is that we will play Fulham.
"That is our priority now - the Premier League."