BENITEZ: DOUBLE TROUBLE

Having secured the services of Senegal international Demba Ba, Rafael Benitez is confident the Senegal international and Fernando Torres can bring the best out of each other in the months ahead.

Our latest acquisition is fit and eligible for selection as the Blues begin the defence of our FA Cup crown later today against Southampton at St Mary's, and having seen Daniel Sturridge depart for Liverpool earlier this week, the Chelsea manager is delighted to have Ba on board.

'The main thing for me now is to manage the two strikers I have,' said the Blues boss. 'I'm really pleased with the situation because before there was only one option, so it's important for me to make sure they are both in good condition and are able to compete.

'He's a player with experience, he had a clause and we needed a player who could compete with Fernando. He was playing every game for Newcastle, we have a player who can play for us and we don't need to wait three months for the adaptation.

'We were talking about the striking positions; we know Torres has been playing too many games, but we couldn't manage him in the same way that we can manage the centre-backs because we have three of them, so each situation is different.

'It's good for the team to have players in different positions who can compete; it keeps them on their toes, that's the normal way at all clubs.'

Having started strongly, the first half of the season will be remembered mostly for a premature Champions League exit and the management transition which saw the Spaniard take the reins.

Benitez will undoubtedly be looking for a more consistent spell between now and May, particularly with four trophies still to play for, and after the disappointment of Wednesday's home defeat to Queens Park Rangers, today's game offers the perfect opportunity for his team to lay down a marker.

'The message is very clear, we will try to win every game and we will approach every match as if it's the most important,' he said. 'It was not easy before and it won't be easy now, but the most important thing is to take one game at a time.

'Now we have the FA Cup, that will be our most important game, and then it's the Capital One Cup and the Premier League.

'I'm not the kind of manager to say we don't care about certain competitions, that's not my way. We will try to win them all and see where we are.

'We know that the top four is really important for the club. We will try to win a cup but at the same time concentrate on league games, the priority is always to win trophies.'

 

A clip of Rafael Benitez's pre-match interview with Chelsea TV can seen above with the full interview available now via the channel's online access.