Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has admitted that he can only quell a ferocious tide of criticism by putting together a winning team at Stamford Bridge.

The manager has recently been denounced publicly after speaking of injuries to Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, with many seeing the comments as transparent excuses for their poor form over the last two games.

Even in light of the Blues’ annihilation of Stoke City last weekend – a game where both players failed to score – Benitez is still coming under significant pressure, according to Sky Sports.

“I was surprised the other day when I spoke about Fernando’s problems with his stomach [and that] we couldn’t play Demba Ba because he had a niggle,” said Benitez.

“Afterwards it was said I was making excuses, but I wasn’t making excuses.

“I am still being criticised for making the decision to play Fernando Torres instead of Demba Ba, who was a big risk if he got injured.

“If you know Demba Ba could be injured, it is my job as manager to make this decision.

“He scored two against Southampton [in the FA Cup] but couldn’t play the next game against Swansea because of a niggle.

“If we can continue winning games, it’s not a case of I can’t win.”

Both Ba and Torres are now available for selection against Southampton on Wednesday night in the Premier League, and Benitez will have a difficult decision to make on who to throw into the starting XI.

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