Rafa: Torres needs a push

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Posted Sunday, November 25, 2012 by The Sun

Rafa: Torres needs a push
NO SPAIN NO GAIN ... Fernando Torres and Rafa Benitez in Chelsea training

RAFA BENITEZ says he will give Fernando Torres the push he needs to fire Chelsea to the Premier League title.

Benitez’s biggest task as the Blues’ interim manager is to turn the £50million flop back into the star striker he had at Liverpool.

And that means being tough on his fellow Spaniard.

Benitez said: “With the arm on the shoulder, normally you are in the middle of the table.

“When you push the player, that is when you can compete for titles.

“With Fernando you have to put your arm around the shoulder and push him. Both things.

“My job now is to find out why he is not scoring as many goals as he was at Liverpool.”

Torres was inevitably a major topic of conversation when Benitez had a long dinner with Roman Abramovich and some of his clique on Thursday night.

Benitez said: “We were talking about a lot of things. Two, three hours and I talk a lot!

“They can see he has to improve. Everybody can see that he can improve because he has the potential.

“They want to improve not just Fernando but a lot of players. Maybe Hazard can help Fernando, maybe it will be Mata.

“We will try to improve the team and I am sure if we can create more chances, he will score goals.”

Benitez insists Abramovich has NOT demanded Barcelona-style football, which would be impossible because the Catalan world-beaters are the product of years of work.

Benitez, who probably has less than seven months, said: “He told me — and I was talking with [technical director] Michael Emenalo before — that he wants to win and to do it well, playing in style.

“But he’s not desperate that we have to play Barcelona style.”

Benitez is not renowned for producing teams that play the flowing football Abramovich is said to love. But he has won things.

And he believes he and Chelsea can add a Premier League title to his CV after he came so close with Liverpool in 2008/9.

Benitez said: “I think Chelsea is as strong as Manchester City or United. The teams at the top are very close.

“The difference is how you settle the team and if they have the belief.

“Maybe you will need some time for them to understand ideas, and when they are more confident they will be better.

“You can see the team is quite strong — you have very good players you can improve.

“For me as a manager, it’s very exciting.”

Benitez has spoken to captain John Terry about his vital role, even while injured, in reviving the winning mentality that Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea had when they locked horns with Benitez’s Liverpool.

But Benitez knows he could win silverware and still be replaced by Pep Guardiola in June if the ex-Barcelona coach wants the Chelsea job.

“I know the situation,” said Benitez. “I have good relations with Pep. Would I mind if Chelsea approached Pep while I am here?

“I don’t think that they will let me know! Would Pep tell me? I think so!What I expect is to win and after that l see what happens because life changes every week.”

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