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Benitez claims to have player backing

Rafa Benitez claims that many of Chelsea's players have been offering private support in the midst of a difficult spell at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard caused controversy on Wednesday by openly criticising factions of the club's support, with that press conference following reports that he was having difficulties with senior squad members such as John Terry. When asked whether it would help if senior players publicly backed him, Benitez said many had come to him in private.

"A lot of the players have been supporting me, telling me to carry on doing my job. These are private conversations.

"I have a lot of conversations with the players, and the majority of them say they are happy with the training sessions, the methods, the intensity. We try and do our best, and sometimes we cannot, but I think they are quite happy.

"You may speak one or two, but there are another 21 you don't know. If you have 25 players in a squad, you'll obviously have one or two who aren't happy, but you can find that in every squad around the world."

Benitez also denied that one of the unhappy players was Terry, saying: "No. When he's fit, he's training, he's fine. You can play him. You have to manage them."

The Chelsea boss did maintain that Terry will play more once fully fit.

"The atmosphere in the training ground is really good, really good. The staff around Cobham are really good. I have a very good relationship with everyone. I don't see a big problem there. Still, we have time to push a bit harder and we'll try and do it.

"I am convinced that I will do my best for tomorrow, and I don't have any problem with the owner, the board, or anyone."

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