Benitez: Break from Bridge will help end goal drought

Ben Rumsby

RAFAEL BENITEZ hopes a break from Stamford Bridge will help Chelsea end their goalscoring drought after watching them draw another blank against Fulham.

The Blues made it three games without finding the net and two straight goalless draws for the first time since Roman Abramovich bought the club.

That saw them slip seven points adrift of top spot in the Premier League, with interim manager Benitez so far only able to stop the rot that had set in at the back.

Despite seeing Chelsea manage a handful of shots in his two games in charge, the Spaniard insisted there were still goals in the side.

And he hopes matches away from home, where the Blues can play on the break, will help them regain their confidence.

"If you have more space, with the quality we have, we might have different chances," said Benitez, whose side play five of their next six matches away from Stamford Bridge, including two at the Club World Cup.

Next month's trip to Japan could see Chelsea fall even further off the pace but Benitez insisted they were still capable of overhauling Manchester United and Manchester City to win the title.

He said: "It's still a long way to go. We have to keep going. We'll have chances.


"Remember, last season when City were ahead and it was 'easy'. Then they needed to win their last game. It's a long, long competition."

Benitez admitted Chelsea need wins, starting at West Ham on Saturday, where they will once again be without John Terry and Frank Lampard.

That almost certainly means another outing for Fernando Torres, who showed no sign of breaking his own latest goalscoring duck last night. Chelsea fans, who kept faith with the £50m man, have now started to turn.

Benitez can only dream of such patience. After being subjected to jeers and abuse during his first game in charge, he was spared a repeat until the closing moments of last night's game.

Perhaps more telling were the chants of "We want our Chelsea back" in front of the watching Abramovich, the closest fans have come to publicly criticising the billionaire benefactor.