BENITEZ: BALANCING ACT

Posted on: Sat 26 Jan 2013

Rafael Benitez has admitted he faces selection problems as we prepare to take on Brentford on Sunday.

The Spaniard's squad has been reduced due to injury, suspension and international duty, while taking part in a punishing schedule that sees us play our 40th game of the season at Griffin Park.

'In terms of selection it has to be different, we do not want too many players playing too many games,' Benitez said. 'We have played nine games a month, we have two in the African Cup of Nations, we do not have too many bodies, and we have to change the approach.

'If you play them too much they do not have the physical intensity. The players are a little tired.

'Sometimes with the quality you have you can win games if you are not 100 per cent fit. We have seen players rested and the game after were really good. We are playing too many games. Swansea had played 26 games.

'You can say it is the same in every club, every top side has the same situation. The difference is if you have more bodies you can manage. It is always the same.

'You play a cup competition and you think how you can use different players. If you can keep the level you will progress and have more chances to win trophies. Sometimes they need time to settle down, the physicality is different, it is always the same with any foreign player coming here.

'We were thinking about it in the last game, depending on the score, how to approach it. You have Mata, Hazard, Oscar, they don't play long balls and win second balls. Torres isn't a target man, so you have to try and play quickly. When the players are rested the tempo of the game is higher. When they are tired we have more problems.

'With the players you have you can manage the shape of the team, but the style has to be playing good football on the floor with pace and a high tempo. It's what we have.

'[On Sunday] we will try to strike the right balance. We need to deal with a different team in a different pitch but I cannot explain too much about what we do. It's part of our game plan and how we approach the game in terms of tactics.

'We will use different players but the question is how many of these players can you use to keep the level and have fresh legs. We have an idea.'