'He's not exactly the same player now': Rafael Benitez says Fernando Torres is not the player he was at Liverpool

Torres has struggled ever since his £50m move to Stamford Bridge

Rafael Benitez today admitted he did not know whether Fernando Torres could recapture his Liverpool form at Chelsea.

Interim Blues manager Benitez insisted he could improve the fortunes of Torres, who he helped become one of the best strikers in the world at Anfield and has flopped since his £50million move to Stamford Bridge.

But Benitez acknowledged the 28-year-old was not the same player he had been before joining Chelsea and needed to improve physically to stand a chance of recapturing his glory days.

Three Blues managers have failed to get Torres scoring regularly, each repeatedly insisting there was nothing wrong with the forward.

The man who knows his fellow Spaniard better than any of them said today: "He's not exactly the same player now, because he was at maximum level at this time [at Liverpool].

"But I think he can come back. How close? I don't know. It depends on the rest of the team.

"I'm sure he can improve, but the team has to help him."

Torres also has to help himself, as does Benitez, following a run of just 19 goals in 88 games for the European champions.

"The first thing is to give him some confidence, instructions as to how he can do things in a different way, improve him a little bit physically," said Benitez, who wants Torres's team-mates to create more chances for the striker and win the ball back more quickly in defence.

"You need to be stronger in defence, regain the ball easier and then you can create your own chances. That will benefit Torres.

"Players with mobility, quality... we can improve all these things."

Benitez denied he was under pressure to pick Torres amid reports previous Chelsea managers had been given the impression by owner Roman Abramovich that the club's record signing must play.

"It's easy at the moment because [Daniel] Sturridge is still injured," he said.

Indeed, Sturridge is Chelsea's only other recognised centre-forward and it seems unthinkable they will not attempt bolster their attack in the January transfer window.

But Benitez said: "I can guarantee I've been so busy, I haven't had time to watch any DVDs, or have conversations about this or that player.

"I have to improve the players who are here."

Benitez admitted he did not know whether tomorrow would see a repeat of the vicious booing, chanting and placards that were directed at him on Sunday.

"To be fair, I don't know," he said.

"But I can say that, since coming here, I've worked really hard, coming in at 8.30am and leaving at 8.30 at night, doing my job, talking to players and staff and trying to be ready for the game."

Such abuse cannot be nice but Benitez added: "I can't worry if I'm upset or not.

"If it was a player, I'd be telling him to concentrate on his job. The best way to change things is to win games."

Benitez insisted he appreciated why his appointment had been greeted so negatively by many supporters.

"I understand the feelings of the fans because of my time at Liverpool, where we had rivalry and it was quite difficult," he said.

"But, at the same time, I will try to prove I'm here for the right reasons.

"We want to win, and we can do that together.

"I'll try to improve players and it'll be easier to win games and bring the fans back."

He added: "It's not a situation we can change in one minute.

"But working hard, winning games, I can improve it. Starting with Fulham."

PA

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living