Interim manager sees positive signs but believes Blues can do even better
Chelsea's biggest win for nearly three years was not enough to convince Rafael Benitez that his players have no room for improvement. After tonight's 8-0 crushing of Aston Villa, the Blues' interim manager was already pondering the next step up.
"Yes, I have my notes here," the Spaniard said when asked if he could find faults. "I can guarantee we can still improve little things. And I say that after winning by eight."
Chelsea moved up to third place, seven points behind Manchester City with one game in hand. But Benitez said that his team were not yet back in the title race. "We will see after two or three more games," he said. "You could see the team had confidence in themselves, they believed, and that was there to the end. They had good movements, created chances. Now we have to sustain this run and [then] it will be easier for me to say we can compete."
Benitez declared that he saw signs the team was starting to adapt to his instructions. "The main thing is to see the team progressing and improving," he said. "We try to adjust the little things in every training session, so this was very positive. The team, as a team, is attacking and not depending upon one or two players."
Frank Lampard scored on his 500th Premier League start and heard the fans singing that the board should offer him a new contract. In his final year and yet to be offered a new deal, Lampard admitted he did not know if he could change the club's mind.
"I'm not concentrating that far [into the future], as I'm under contract here and I love playing here so I'm going to continue game by game and just be pleased to be fit. I believe I have a lot in me to go. The club's position is its position, I don't want to get too deep into that."
Villa's manager, Paul Lambert, said that his young team will just have to get over the pain of this heavy defeat before their busy Christmas schedule. Villa host Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day and Wigan Athletic on Saturday before travelling to Swansea City on New Year's Day. Villa are fifth from bottom, three points clear of 18th-placed Wigan.
"We'll have to pick ourselves up and go again on Wednesday, hurt as we are," Lambert said. "Nothing really surprises me in football. I've been in it long enough to know you have to be bang at it every single game, but we were well below our standard of late.
"We'll go back to the training ground, train tomorrow and Tuesday, and go again. You go into every game thinking you can win.
"Sometimes getting beat tells you a lot about people. It's a heavy beating, but I can't allow one defeat to mask over what's happened of late. I don't get too high when I win, so we'll pick ourselves up and go again. We weren't at the races in certain aspects of the game."
With the top nine players in the men’s world tennis rankings all missing this tournament to prepare ...
by Gareth Purnell
21 May 2013 02:01 AM
When cyclists look back on their careers spanning many hundreds (and in some cases possibly thousand...
by Martin Ayres
20 May 2013 06:12 PM
As England’s new football strip – made by Nike – is revealed today, new research shows the English F...
by Alex Miller
20 May 2013 04:52 PM
Why Spurs will break the bank to keep Gareth Bale this summer
Jose Mourinho clear to rejoin Chelsea as departure clears the way for Real Madrid to move for Gareth Bale to become Cristiano Ronaldo's successor
Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
Manchester City begin to rebuild and rebrand for future
Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
- 1 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 2 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 3 Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.