Rafael Benitez chasing elusive first win as Chelsea manager

Chelsea are yet to score or concede under interim manager

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Rafael Benitez today admitted Chelsea were desperate for a goal but insisted scoring in their Barclays Premier League game at West Ham would mean nothing if they did not win.

Interim manager Benitez has yet to witness either event in his two matches in charge, successive bore draws with Manchester City and Fulham.

Chelsea also failed to find the net in Roberto Di Matteo's final game at the helm, ensuring a run of three matches without scoring for the first time since Roman Abramovich bought the club.

Benitez is also the first boss of the Abramovich era not to win either of his opening two games and it was the latter statistic that more worried the Spaniard ahead of tomorrow's trip to Upton Park.

Asked if the first goal of his reign would come as a relief, he said: "More to win than score.

"We are close in terms of what we are trying to achieve in attack.

"The team has improved the shape in defence, but we need to be a bit quicker in attack.

"Scoring will give us all confidence. The team needs to score and to win."

Chelsea's five-hour, 21-minute goal drought can be blamed partly on an even longer famine for Fernando Torres, who has found the net only once in almost two months - and that was a fluke.

In the Premier League alone, the £50million man has now gone 10 hours 49 minutes without scoring, with the arrival of his former boss at Liverpool doing little to improve his fortunes.

Benitez admitted this week that Torres had lost some of the pace that made him one of the best strikers in the world.

That prompted former Olympic 4x100 metres champion Darren Campbell to offer to coach the 28-year-old in the art of sprinting, having worked briefly with the Spaniard last year.

But Benitez, who has prescribed Torres weight-training sessions in order to improve his strength, said: "It's interesting to have different ideas, but we have very good staff here.

"It's different running and running with the ball on the pitch, 11 v 11.

"[World Cup-winning manager Cesar Luis] Minotti, a famous Argentinian coach, said a sprinter has to run very fast, and when he reaches the line, he finishes. A striker has to run very fast to get the ball and then his game starts."