Benitez: Chelsea are a better team now

Rafael Benitez insists Chelsea have improved since he took over as interim manager and are heading in the right direction under him despite recent results.

Two shock home defeats in a week – QPR’s win at Stamford Bridge and the Capital One Cup loss to Swansea – have led to Benitez coming in for renewed criticism from fans.

But the Spaniard, an unpopular choice when he replaced Roberto Di Matteo in November, believes he has made a positive impact at the club.

Benitez said: “The team is scoring more goals. The team is conceding less goals. The team is playing nice football.

“We scored eight goals against Aston Villa, six against Nordsjaelland, against Southampton we scored five, so you can see the team is doing really well.

“Even in the last game against Swansea we created very clear chances. The team is doing well and you can see the players are happy.

“Things are going in the right direction, but being a top side you expect to win every game and sometimes you can’t.

“I can guarantee you 100% everyone here is pushing and they believe we can carry on improving.”

Meanwhile, John Terry is in the squad for the Stoke game and Petr Cech could also be included.

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