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Jan 25, 2013

Benitez: Success will take time

Rafa Benitez has insisted it will take time to bring success to Chelsea because of the wholesale changes that have been made and continue to be made at the club.

• Blog:Chelsea exit with a whimper

Following the success of winning the Champions League and FA Cup last season owner Roman Abramovich brought in Eden Hazard, Oscar and Victor Moses in an attempt to adapt the club's playing style, while Didier Drogba departed

Demba Ba has been added to the squad in the January transfer window, and although Ashley Cole has signed a new one-year deal to remain at Stamford Bridge speculation remains over the long-term future of Frank Lampard whose contract expires in the summer.

After being knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage, suffering defeat in the Super Cup and World Club Cup and losing their Capital One Cup semi-final to Swansea City, questions have been asked about Chelsea's ability to compete for trophies. However, Benitez is confident that in time the current squad is capable of delivering.

"If you analyse the squad you have new players so they have to settle down in the Premier League and in England," he said. "Things are totally different, the money that was spent before and has been spent recently is different and the other teams are stronger and they are spending money.

"When you analyse the stats you have to put them into context. I feel the team is scoring more goals, conceding less goals and you can see that we have more balance but we still have problems that we have to manage."

Benitez also attempted to move on from the incident which overshadowed Chelsea's goalless draw in Swansea on Wednesday night.

Eden Hazard was red-carded for a kick at a ball boy at the Liberty Stadium, and is awaiting the outcome of a Football Association investigation to discover his punishment.

The story has been big news but Benitez would only say: "We dealt with this after the game."

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