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Blue Flu

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Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (left) speaks to John Terry (right) during a training session at Cobham Training Ground, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 20, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (left) speaks to John Terry (right) during a training session at Cobham Training Ground, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 20, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (left) speaks to John Terry (right) during a training session at Cobham Training Ground, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 20, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

RAFA BENITEZ is facing a lingering case of 'Blue Flu' within his squad which could yet cost Chelsea a Champions League slot.

After a training ground ruck with a group of senior players headed by the disaffected John Terry, Benitez heads for the Riverside tonight and an FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough struggling to keep a lid on growing internal strife at Stamford Bridge.

Speculation suggests that Benitez laid out a few home truths for Chelsea's high earners and told them that they needed to lift performance levels or risk losing out in the race for Champions League qualification.

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

"They realise they will be here with long contracts, so they have to perform and be ready if they want to stay at the maximum level, in the Champions League," he said.

"Our target is to finish in the top four, top three. I like to talk with them every day, and they are all convinced we would finish in the top three."

SEE SOCCER SECTION


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