May 19 2013 Latest news:
Friday, January 11, 2013
Rafael Benitez has insisted that Demba Ba and Fernando Torres will be paired together but that injury and illness has so far prevented it.
The Blues signed the Senegal striker from Newcastle last week and he made an instant impression, netting twice on his debut in last Saturday’s 5-1 romp past Southampton.
But the interim manager started the new boy on the bench for Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg defeat at home to Swansea.
It was a move that saw the Spaniard set upon from the terraces with supporters voicing their disapproval throughout the 2-0 reverse.
But Benitez today revealed that Ba was carrying an injury and that was the reason for his omission, while Torres – who has gone four games without a goal - played even though he was suffering with an illness.
“Demba Ba and Fernando together will be a solution for us. We didn’t have this chance before,” the manager said today ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League trip to Stoke.
“Demba Ba had an injury before the [Swansea] game. Fernando had to play because we couldn’t play Demba Ba for a long time.
“Fernando was playing with his stomach bug. You have a professional doing his best and another professional waiting.
“I’m really pleased with the attitude of Fernando. Now Demba Ba is fine and Fernando is much better. He has been training and is available.”
There has been speculation this week that £50million flop Torres had told his Chelsea team-mates that he wishes he was back at former club Liverpool.
Benitez signed him for the Reds and though he claimed he was unaware of the reports he insisted that his countryman is giving his all for the Chelsea cause.
“He’s been a very good professional and he’s been training well,” the Blues chief said, adding: “He needed some tablets but he still gave 100 per cent. If he starts scoring goals again, the fans will appreciate this.
“Because the club paid the big money, they expected the relationship between money and goals would be easy.
“When the team was not playing well, we would have good chances. He was not at the level that we were expecting.”
Benitez also believes Torres can rediscover the form that persuaded owner Roman Abramovich to splash out the biggest transfer fee in English history for his services.
“I think that he can score goals again and can have more confidence,” the manager said.