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Benitez unfazed by heavy workload

By Football News



Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has assured fans that fatigue will not be an issue for his side against Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League.

Benitez's side scraped a 1-0 win over West Brom in their last Premier League match and will face Steaua in Romania on Thursday before a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Despite a congested fixture list, and one that could get even busier should they progress past Laurentiu Reghecampf's side in the Europa League, Benitez is not worried about burnout, insisting his squad is deep enough.

Speaking to reporters in Bucharest, Benitez said: "We see the games and watch our players and we decide which ones will play each game. That's why we have a good group of players, and we have to manage that group.

"We have played a lot of games and we still want to play a lot more games before the end of the season - this is the way for a top side that play in so many competitions. You have to manage the squad and, if we do that properly, I don't think fatigue will be a problem.

"I think it's clear that we will try to progress in every competition, and that the next game is always the most important game. Now, we are here to play in the Europa League and we will try to win, then on Sunday we will be at Old Trafford.

"Obviously, as a manager you have to think about both, but the priority at the moment is this one. So we will put a very competitive team on the pitch and we are sure that we can do a good job.

"Afterwards, we will think about United, but the main thing for us is to progress in this competition at the moment.

"This is another trophy that we have to compete for and these players are good professionals, who want to win."

The under-fire coach went on to talk about the upcoming opponents - Steaua - and highlighted their ability on the counterattack as well as a tendency to press high from defence as something to look out for.

"From what we have seen, they are a team that is capable of pressing high if it's necessary, like they did against Ajax, or waiting and playing on the counter-attack," Benitez said.

"They have some pace in wide areas, while their number 24 (Raul Rusescu) is a player with talent between the lines. So we know they can play from the back, that they have good balance and that they can play high or counter-attack.

"We will see what they decide to do tomorrow."