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."
Latest in Sport
The Prince of Wales Stakes today is regarded by many as the No1 race of the Royal Ascot meeting and ...
by Gareth Purnell
19 June 2013 02:01 AM
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
ACT Brumbies v British and Irish Lions - player ratings
Liverpool close in on £6m Spanish winger Luis Alberto
In pictures: Royal Ascot 2013 - Opening day
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for further 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
Italy Under-21s 2 Spain Under-21s 4 match report: Thiago Alcantara's hat-trick seals European Championship for Spanish youngsters
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 2 Bosses of collapsed banks should be sent to jail, banking standards commission tells George Osborne
- 3 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 4 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf