Football News

Benitez backs Terry to score from the spot

Created on 11 Apr., 2013 5:37 PM GMT

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez says John Terry will face his penalty shootout demons at the Luzhniki Stadium if needed on Thursday.

Benitez takes his team to Moscow for the second leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie against Rubin Kazan with a 3-1 aggregate lead.

It marks Chelsea's first return to the stadium since losing the 2007/08 Champions League final to Manchester United.

Terry missed a penalty which would have seen Chelsea win the trophy in a shootout - the club captain slipped over and saw his spot-kick hit the post.

But Benitez has backed the 32-year-old to step up again if required this week.

"You cannot just say, 'You and you and you'. The first thing, what matters, is that they have to be convinced they can score," Benitez told reporters.

"We are confident we will not need penalties. But if we do need penalties, we have enough experience and quality.

"I can remember the 2008 Champions League final, but I don't want to talk too much about that. It's not our problem now. Our problem now is Rubin Kazan.

"I don't want to lose the focus. It is another competition, in another time. Hopefully we can do well and everybody will not think too much about the past.

"Everybody will have bad memories but for us it is about the future."

Benitez is anticipating a low-key atmosphere at a venue with an artificial surface and the potential for as many as 70,000 empty seats.

"It will be a little strange," he said.

"We will not get the extra motivation you normally get from a big, full, stadium. In this sort of situation the players can be too relaxed and go out there without the proper approach.

"So we have to send a message across to our players and then hopefully at the beginning of the game they will realise they need to be concentrated.

"But after what happened for Tottenham at Inter and us against Sparta Prague, they have been warned.

"We have to adapt to the pitch, although the new generation of synthetic pitches are better."

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