Rafael Benitez will include Petr Cech and Demba Ba in his side to face Wigan today, despite both players suffering broken bones in the last week, highlighting the importance of the meeting with the relegation-threatened side to Chelsea’s efforts to revive their bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four and the interim manager’s prospects of seeing out his short-term contract.
Benitez refused to comment on whether he had been offered any guarantees he will remain in the post until the end of the season but should his side fail to win in a game when they will again be without John Terry, the captain, who has a minor knee problem, the pressure on the Spaniard will intensify.
Benitez admitted he had not spoken to Roman Abramovich, the club owner, since the victory over Arsenal on 20 January, but claims communication with the rest of the club hierarchy has been maintained.
“After the Arsenal game, 20 days ago, we were doing really well and the owner was really happy,” said Benitez. “Since then I’ve had conversations with people close to him, not directly. We were talking about football. In terms of football everything is fine. We want to win.”
He added: “My job is exactly the same. After winning, you can have better comments in the media in general, but that’s part of football. I’ve been in football for 26 years as a manager, and all my life as a player too. If you win, it’s fine. If not, people start talking.
“I know that I have a game, an important game, tomorrow and that is my priority,” Benitez said. “I cannot talk about my future if my priority is the next game.”