Benitez backs Ivanovic to bounce back
The Serbian centre-back gifted Swansea both of their goals with some uncharacteristically slack pieces of defending.
He kept his place in the Blues’ starting XI for their 4-0 victory away at Stoke, but some have suggested that he may be benched for their home tie with the Saints.
However, despite John Terry set to return, Benitez claims that he will have no hesitation in picking Ivanovic, and feels that he has the mental strength to put last week’s episode behind him:
“Branislav was really ¬disappointed, as he’s quite emotional. When he makes mistakes they affect him maybe too much.” He is quoted by The Mirror.
“He said ‘sorry’ to the other players, but when you try to do your best and make a mistake you don’t need to.
“It just shows he’s a great person and pro. He’s someone who has passion and I have no hesitation picking him.”
Ivanovic’s hesitation on the ball allowed Michu to open the scoring, before a sloppy back pass was pounced on by Danny Graham late on.
Although he was disappointed to lose the tie, Benitez refused to blame his defender for the result:
“The first thing I did after the game last week was tell him that I am not worried about a player making a mistake.
“I am only worried about a player not trying to do things in the way we want to do things. But Branislav is a fantastic player.”