Benitez proud of tougher Chelsea
Rafael Benitez was impressed by Chelsea's resilience after they beat Norwich City on Wednesday to record two league wins in succession.
Having thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 last time out, Chelsea had to settle for a narrow 1-0 win courtesy of Juan Mata's goal to take all three points from their visit to Carrow Road on Boxing Day.
Chelsea's improved form under Benitez has arrived despite a demanding mid-season trip to Japan to contest the FIFA Club World Cup.
"We knew it would be a difficult game, they have won against United and Arsenal and it was a tough game," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"I am really pleased with the performance of the players and really pleased as it is another victory over (returning from) Japan, so the team is showing character.
"We were working hard in defence, against Aston Villa we were attacking, it was a different type of game today and we showed character that the team can play football and at the same time can defend.
"They didn't have too many chances, we had two or three to score the second goal so I am pleased because it was a great performance."
Benitez declined to discuss reports this weekend claiming veteran midfielder Frank Lampard would be shown the Stamford Bridge exit in the January transfer window.
"We don't talk about speculation that is a conversation between Frank and the club," Benitez said.
"We have to do our job which is to try and prepare the team for the next game
"To be fair I do not pay too much attention (to the rumours) because I have to concentrate on the games.
"Some things in the newspapers is something every club has to manage with."