Rafael Benitez reveals troubles as Chelsea prepare for Club World Cup glory
Rafael Benitez has received strong support from his squad before Chelsea heads out for the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey in Yokohama on Thursday. The Chelsea manager has vowed to bring out his big guns against his opponents, although his players are suffering from jet lag.
The former Inter Milan manager has been given little support by Chelsea fans since he replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge. The hatred for Rafael Benitez spawned after the statements he made against Chelsea back when he was still manager at Liverpool.
The Champions League winning side Chelsea arrived in Japan four days ago to get ahead with some early practice sessions. Rafael Benitez informs that in spite of an early arrival his squad is still trying to adjust to the nine-hour time difference.
Exhaustion could turn out to be Chelsea’s Achilles heel against Monterrey. Chelsea has been juggling with testing schedules of games, unfortunate injuries to key players and pressure of bringing in good results.
Rafael Benitez claims he will field a strong line-up against Monterrey, however, the interim manager will be forgiven if he decides to rest a couple of key players from his squad. When questioned on whether a younger team will be fielded against the underdogs, Rafael Benitez expressed desire to win the game.
“No, I intend to win. I'll pick players to win the first game,” said Rafael Benitez, who is in the Club World Cup for the third time. “You cannot think about the final until you've won the semi-final.”
“My experience in this tournament is to assess them the day before, see how they feel and you can see some players are fresher than others,” Rafael Benitez continued. “I don't have an idea now as to who I will play.”
Upon being asked to reveal Chelsea’s main objective Rafael Benitez joked it was “to try to sleep more than four hours”. The Spaniard told reporters that his side needed to be fresh in order to be at their best against their CONCAF Cup opponents.
“We've tried to adapt to the time, the pitch, the ball – everything,” Rafael Benitez said. “It's all a bit new, but we've done everything we have to do.”
Rafael Benitez revealed that he had his eyes already set on the Club World Cup trophy. A couple of days earlier Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson sparked up his old rivalry with Rafael Benitez to suggest that the Spaniard was “lucky” to get another opportunity to lift the Club World Cup trophy.
“The first thing is to beat Monterrey if we want to be in the final,” Rafael Benitez commented on the issue. “If we win, maybe we'll deserve to win.”