Rafael Benitez has dismissed criticism of Fernando Torres, insisting the Chelsea striker is “doing a great job” despite his goal drought.
Torres has not scored in eight domestic matches and has continued to struggle since the appointment of Benitez, who brought the best out of him at Liverpool.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, now a television pundit, recently suggested that Chelsea’s players were reluctant to give the ball to the Spaniard.
But interim manager Benitez countered: “I was not watching the analysis but I think Fernando is a great player and his team-mates know he is a great player.
“If he’s in the right positions they will play it to him. If he’s in the wrong position then maybe not.”
He added: “The main thing as a manager is what you can see on the pitch and in training, and Fernando is doing a great job.
“Yesterday we had a training session with finishing and Fernando scored a lot. I think he has more confidence and his team-mates know that he is trying very hard.
“As a striker we want to see him scoring goals but I would maybe like to see Fernando not scoring and the team winning by scoring lots of goals from different parts of the pitch.
“Fernando is an important player us, but the others have to score as well.”