Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez insists 'we know what we are doing'
Chelsea could only draw 2-2 with Brentford in the FA Cup
Monday 28 January 2013
Rafael Benitez declared his substitutions in Chelsea's FA Cup draw at Brentford proved he did know what he was doing after they helped rescue the holders from a humiliating giant-killing.
Benitez endured some of the most vitriolic abuse yet during his spell as interim Blues boss yesterday as the European champions went into half-time a goal down.
Chants of "You don't know what you're doing" were once again among the insults visiting fans hurled at the Spaniard, whose team selection and tactics have come under fire repeatedly in recent weeks.
But his substitutions could hardly be faulted yesterday after they were almost immediately followed by the goals that snatched a 2-2 draw and rescued a replay.
Benitez threw on Juan Mata at half-time having elected to rest the winger, with the late introduction of Demba Ba also paying off.
"I can guarantee that playing Mata, changing the game, we know what we are doing," said Benitez, who was forced to name forgotten man Yossi Benayoun in his squad after losing several players to injury, suspension and international duty.
That may have explained the downbeat demeanour of the former Liverpool boss, who spent much of his pre-match press conference on Friday bemoaning the resources at his disposal.
It was pointed out yesterday that Chelsea did not even have that many players on the sidelines and their plight could be much worse.
"I agree with you," said Benitez, insisting he had done all he could to convince a reluctant board to spend more money before the transfer window closes.
Chelsea's need for reinforcements grew yesterday as their unprecedented fixture pile-up worsened, their FA Cup replay having to take place on fifth-round weekend.
Benitez was hoping to be able to call upon Petr Cech for Wednesday's Barclays Premier League game at Reading after the goalkeeper sat out yesterday's game with a knock.
David Luiz (ankle) remained a major doubt, while Eden Hazard will serve the second instalment of what will be an extended ban if the Football Association get their way.
Two days after refusing to answer questions on Hazard's red card for kicking out at Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan, Benitez insisted a three-game suspension was "enough" punishment for the offence.
Friday afternoon saw the FA charge Hazard over the incident, insisting the standard sanction for violent conduct was "clearly insufficient" in the Belgian's case.
Chelsea had today still to decide whether to contest that charge but it is understood that they would have to do so to stand any realistic hope of avoiding an additional ban.
Anything over three matches would trigger an automatic appeal by the European champions and Benitez said: "At the moment, we will accept that three games is enough."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising
Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
Latest in Sport
'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him' - Harry Redknapp
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce calm over lack of new contract
QPR vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? And did Mario Balotelli emerge with any credit?
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Manchester United striker to glory
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'