Interim manager sees positive signs but believes Blues can do even better
Sunday 23 December 2012
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
Chelsea 4 Tottenham 0 match report: Samuel Eto’o stoops to conquer sorry Spurs
West Brom 0 Manchester United 3 match report: Manchester United stick to the script as Robin Van Persie loses the plot
Chelsea 4 Tottenham Hotspur 0: Manager Tim Sherwood calls on Spurs to show guts following heavy defeat
Arsenal 4 Everton 1 match report: Revitalised Mesut Özil breathes life into Arsenal
Transfer news: Micah Richards could fill gap at Arsenal with Bacary Sagna's departure as Manchester City contract winds down
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
- 5 Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’