• Premier League

Benitez will continue to tinker

ESPN staff
January 4, 2013
Rafa Benitez is adamant that tinkering is the way to build a successful team © Getty Images

Rafa Benitez has again defended his rotation policy ahead of his Chelsea team's trip to Southampton.

The Stamford Bridge manager made four changes to a side that had previously won four successive games on Wednesday night, only to then lose 1-0 to QPR.

Benitez, however, insisted that it was rotation that actually created the previous record, and that the idea of a 'strongest team' is not necessarily down to names.

He said: "The last two weeks we were rotating and winning games and everybody was praising the team. You were saying we were doing well when we were changing players and winning well the last two weeks so you cannot be criticised or praised for the same thing.

"We have our vision as professionals. We know how the levels of the players are, we can manage the squad and we have to manage the squad.

"My strongest team for you depends on the names. For me it depends on the players, how they feel every game. We will try to win every competition until the end of the season.

"It is necessary. We had 11 players playing more than 60% of the minutes before I arrived. We couldn't keep doing that because the risk of injuries and tiredness is there. They are a bit more tired than the others and maybe that is why the tempo was not like before.

"I said before, I will say again, we will try to win every game. The way to do it, you talk with your players every day, talk with your staff, medical staff, and you know how they are.

"You have to decide. I was surprised because we were changing players and [Victor] Moses was playing and everybody was really pleased and then, you lose a game, and it's because you play this other one. I think our squad is really good. They can play any game."

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