Rafael Benítez plays down reports of bust-up with Chelsea players
Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benítez moves to play down reports of a training-ground bust-up with some of the club's senior players
Rafael Benítez has moved to play down reports of a training-ground bust-up with some of Chelsea’s senior players, including John Terry.
The Chelsea interim boss met with his squad on Monday after the 2-0 defeat at Manchester City and was reported to have had a heated exchange with a number of players.
But the Spaniard insisted it was “normal” for players to be frustrated following a defeat and maintained that Terry remains an “important” player for the Blues despite the Chelsea captain being left on the bench at the Etihad Stadium.
“It was a normal meeting between the players and the technical staff. [It happens] after every game,” said Benítez.
“You can see all around the world, meetings, talking… you share your opinions and it’s normal, especially after a defeat.
“It was a very brief exchange of ideas, just a team-talk after a defeat, and that’s it.”
Benítez went on to insist that he had sympathy for Terry, who has not featured since last Thursday’s Europa League clash with Sparta Prague as he struggles for fitness.
“I can understand the frustration of Terry because he’s an important player for us,” he added. “He’s trying to help, trying to push because we want to win.
“I can understand his frustration because he has been injured for 16 weeks and he has had problems with his knee. He has missed some training sessions. He had a specific plan that we prepared for him.
“We are managing him. We know that he’s an important player for us and we know that he wants to win. It’s normal to share opinions and that’s it.
“We have to move on and start thinking about Middlesbrough.”
And the Spaniard insists he has no concerns over his squad’s attitude ahead of Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Middlesbrough.
“I don’t have any problems,” he added. “We are training really well. I said before and I say again, the atmosphere is really good.
“I have a good group of players that are working hard and keen to learn.”