Rafa says Chelsea players ‘convinced’ of beating Arsenal and Spurs to top three finish

08:25 27 February 2013

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez before the game. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez before the game. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Rafael Benitez says his Chelsea players believe they will finish in the top three of the Premier League but accepts that if they are to hold off a late challenge from Arsenal or aim to overtake Tottenham, then consistency will be key.

Chelsea have dropped 13 points out of 24 this year, winning just six of their 15 games in all competitions and tonight they switch focus again with an FA Cup fifth round clash away at Middlesbrough.

That is on the back of a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City, which saw the Blues slip to fourth in the table - two points ahead of Arsenal - after Spurs’ late win at West Ham on Monday night.

Still in with a chance of seeing out his interim spell in charge with some silverware and securing a Champions League berth, Benitez said: “We have had a lot of very good games this year and we have a very good group of players. If we do the things we have to do, we can win against anyone.

“This team finished sixth last year. We have to fight now for the top three.

“This is a good team with good players. Our target is to finish in the top four, top three. We will see.”

Benitez added: “We have played with quality and the lads are training hard, so it is not a problem.

“I like to talk with them every day, and they are all convinced we would finish in the top three.”

But, for now, the Spaniard he is focused on the job in hand at the Riverside Stadium tonight.

“You are professional and you know, more or less, how things are going here in terms of what happens if you lose or win, but I have to do my job, which is to beat Middlesbrough tomorrow,” Benitez said.

“I will be working hard until the end.

“Me and my staff have been working really hard at 100 per cent to get the right balance and right team on the pitch.

“The players know how hard we are working, that is the main thing.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Chelsea news

Thursday, September 3, 2015
A general view of the Olympic Stadium. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

The Government has rejected a request from a host of supporters’ clubs for an inquiry into West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Pedro of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Brom and Chelsea. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Pedro says Manchester United’s stalling over a potential deal was a key reason behind his switch to Stamford Bridge.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Papy Djilobodji of Senegal in action  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Nantes manager Waldemar Kita says Papy Djilobodji took was badly advised by his agent in his decision to join Chelsea.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Pedro of Chelsea has quickly adapted to Premier League football having left Barcelona. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Pedro admits working under Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been very different to their time as El Classico rivals.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Transfer deadline day is in the books. Here are the big winners and losers from the last day of the window.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Read more
Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more