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Benitez pleased with Chelsea season

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez believes the club can be ‘really pleased’ with their current domestic and European performances.

Benitez takes his side to Wembley on Sunday to face Manchester City for a place in the final of the FA Cup while a semi-final fixture with Basel is the only obstacle between the Blues and the Europa League final.

The former Liverpool manager has consistently faced opposition from the home support, yet Benitez believes he has done well to navigate his team to their current position given the inexperience in his squad.

“In terms of two semi-finals and still in the top three (in the Premier League) we’re really pleased,” Benitez told reporters.

“It’s a young squad with new players coming into the Premier League. We still need more experience, but that’s getting better.

“It’s still too early. We will see what happens at the end of the season, but top three, another semi-final. Not bad.”

The 52-year-old suffered defeat to Manchester City in their last meeting in February but is adamant his side won’t make the same mistakes again, while acknowledging that Basel would pose a tricky obstacle in the Europa League.

“We know what we did wrong against them (Manchester City) in the league and we’ll make sure we don’t make the same mistakes,” he said.

“They’re a good team in a good position in the table, and did well against Manchester United the other day. We know it’ll be difficult but it’s a semi-final in a massive competition.

“Basel is not too far away so maybe it’s not a bad option (in the Europa League semi-final), only because of that. They’re a good team, an offensive team, and will be dangerous as well.”

Fri 12 April, 2013
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