Benitez denies Chelsea rift
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has denied talk of a dressing room bust-up and insists he has a 'fantastic' relationship with his players.
Despite talk of a training-ground falling out between the Spaniard and his senior players following their 2-0 loss to Manchester City on Sunday, the former Liverpool and Valencia boss has stated they simply shared a routine meeting.
There has been speculation in recent weeks that Benitez and club captain John Terry do not see eye-to-eye, with the ex-England international was again on the bench against Manchester City.
And while Benitez can understand Terry's disappointment at his lack of playing time, he believes it is right to gradually reintroduce the centre-back as he continues his return from a lengthy injury lay-off.
Benitez told reporters: "This was a normal meeting between players and technical staff, which happens after every game. It was normal talk, nothing else. You show your disappointment, that is normal.
"I can understand the frustration of Terry, an important player for us who's trying to help and push because he wants to win, but he has been injured for 16 weeks and has had problems with his knee.
"He's missed some training sessions. So we are managing him. He wants to win, but we have to manage our players.
"It was very brief exchange of ideas, and that is it, nothing else. It is just a team talk after a defeat. We had a meeting on the training pitch with my players and technical staff, which is part of our business."
On his relationship with the club's players, Benitez said: "It is fantastic. I have no problem."
Meanwhile, Benitez is confident his side can handle their busy schedule in the coming weeks as they prepare for the fifth round FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough.
"The team [that] has played more games [than anyone else] in Europe is Chelsea, you can check this. But we have to carry on and we have to manage the squad as well as we can."
"It's really important for us. But at the same time we're a top side, we have to try to win every competition and every game. So we will pick the best players for every game, we know how the players train and how they are.
"I think they were doing really well. And after, they have had some games that they have had some problems. But still I think they have good ideas [on] how to play, [a] good manager. In the FA Cup competition, they will give everything, so it will be tough as always."