Rafael Benitez is the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for April.
Chelsea won three of our four league games during the month and drew the other match, keeping us firmly in contention for a top-four finish.
In all competitions there were nine games played. The league matches were a home win against Sunderland, followed by a convincing local derby victory at Fulham and then the 2-2 draw at Liverpool. The final home match in April was last weekend’s 2-0 defeat of Swansea City.
Benitez was presented with the award at Cobham on Friday with his backroom staff present.
‘Always when you can win a trophy it is good and when you win this kind of trophy it means that the staff and everyone involved is doing well,’ he said.
‘At this stage of the season it is really important when you are playing for something, so if we can carry on winning games I will be really pleased.’
The manager, speaking to the official Chelsea website, gave details of how the team did well last month.
‘When you are working with the same group of players every week the understanding between players, management and staff is better,’ Benitez said. ‘We have a group of players with quality and we have the commitment that we saw in some of the games.
‘As soon as you can win some games in a row you have momentum and confidence and it is easier, so we are not doing too many things in a different way but we are more convinced that we can beat anyone. Overall it is a good period, the team has more confidence and that is the key.
‘We were scoring set-piece goals, especially from corners, and we were not conceding many and it is a good balance when you have a team with players who are good in the air. Some things that we are trying to do in training sessions you could see make the difference in the games and we are really pleased with that.’
Benitez paid tribute to his backroom staff for their contribution.
‘It is important to understand that a manager can do good things but it depends on the people behind supporting you, so it is important to give credit to everyone.
‘We have to give credit to the staff because we have had not had too many injuries and I was telling the players after saying well done for making the Europa League final that everybody has to feel they have been part of this, because when you use players for different games and still the team can keep the level it means the squad is important.’