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Benitez: Chelsea lack character

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez believes the current Chelsea squad have less character compared to the sides that Jose Mourinho managed.

The Spaniard has overseen two scoreless draws and a defeat in his first three games in charge at Stamford Bridge, a spell which sees the London side extend their winless run to eight matches in the Premier League.

A 3-1 defeat at West Ham over the weekend saw the European champions slip 10 points behind league leaders Manchester United.

“Normally when you lose, you are not happy — but I was angry,” Benitez told reporters.

“We did not manage their (West Ham’s) physical game, the long balls, the second balls, the corners. We gave them too many options to play their game and we could not be comfortable in possession.

“That is when you have to show character and quality — and we did not do that. Character and leadership is always necessary in a team.

“Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team had a lot of character but it is a different time now.”

The 52-year-old believes that the main issue surrounding the team’s poor form of late is a lack of confidence, which he attributes to a failure to cope with the physical rigours of the English top flight.

He added: “We have young players in their first year in the Premier League. They have talent and quality but you still have to show that on the pitch.

“If you cannot cope with the physical demands of the game, you cannot show your quality so we have to give them confidence.

“I’ve not had too much time in training every day but we will try to adjust things.

“They are experienced players, they’ve won the Champions League and a lot of trophies but they have to show that character and they need confidence to do that.

“Some players might show character but if one or two are not at that level, the whole team suffers. That is what happened in the second half at West Ham.”

Mon 3 December, 2012
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