Rafael Benitez plays down bust-up talk

Benitez plays down bust-up talk
© PA Photos
Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez attempts to play down claims that he was involved in a row with a number of his players yesterday.

Interim manager Rafael Benitez has dismissed speculation that he had a bust-up with several members of the Chelsea squad at the club's training base in Cobham yesterday afternoon.

Reports had claimed that Benitez had been highly critical of the players in the wake of their 2-0 defeat away at Manchester City on Sunday, which had resulted in a row between the Spaniard and captain John Terry in particular.

However, Benitez has played down those stories by describing the meeting as "normal".

"It was a normal meeting between the players and the technical staff. [It happens] after every game," Benitez told reporters. "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."

On Terry, Benitez conceded that he fully understood the former England international's frustrations.

"I can understand the frustration of Terry because he's an important player for us. He's trying to help, trying to push because we want to win," he added.

"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."

The loss to City has seen the Blues drop to fourth in the Premier League table.

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez during his side's match with Wigan on February 9, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
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10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
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16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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