Rafa Benitez confident of juggling fixture pile-up
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez believes that his side can cope with their mounting fixture list.
The Blues face Steaua Bucharest in their Europa League last-16 second-leg tie, knowing that if they overhaul the 1-0 loss suffered in Romania they will still be competing in three competitions.
If they do make it to the quarter-finals, the Londoners will face the prospect of playing six games in 15 days, with Premier League and FA Cup duties beginning to weigh heavy.
But, Benitez is insistent that he is fully focused on their continental campaign, and is confident that he can get his squad through a potentially draining set of games:
“I can do nothing about that. I just concentrate on my job and try to do my best, preparing the team for every competition.” He responded when asked about fixture congestion by Sky Sports.
“It’s quite difficult, but each team is different and it depends on the players that you have, the positions and the congestion.
“I will try to lead by example, so I will concentrate on the next game. That is what I have to do, to make sure we compete in every single competition.”
Benitez has been criticised by large sections of Chelsea’s supporters since taking over from Roberto Di Matteo on an interim basis earlier this season.
The Spaniard even joked that some fans could blame him for their fixture nightmare:
“Maybe someone else will blame me. Some people always say that it’s my fault, that everything is my fault!
“You are clever enough to realise that I was joking. If something is wrong they want to blame me. But I have to manage this too.”