Rafael Benitez is working on the confidence of the players as a major way to improve on performances such as the one that lead to defeat on Saturday.

The interim manager has previously spoken about the way a dip in results prior to his appointment is likely to have had an impact on the squad’s belief, and two home draws and an away defeat in the last three games have not helped.

However while words like character are being discussed in the wake of the West Ham showing, Benitez explains confidence is the key to improving so much.

‘We will try to adjust things and if the players are more comfortable in terms of what they have to do on the pitch, you can give them some confidence,’ he says.

‘These are players that have won the Champions League and have won a lot of trophies so they have to show this character, but they need a little more confidence.

‘We also have young players who are coming new to the Premier League and they have the talent and the quality but they still have to show these things on the pitch. In the Premier League it is very physical and if you cannot cope with the physicality, maybe you cannot use your quality so we have to give them some confidence, doing some things that are maybe easy for them to manage and use the technical ability they have.’

Benitez also highlights the importance in a team game of having all the players feeling confident on the pitch.

‘Some players can show character but if you have one or two and they are not playing at the level then the team as a team is suffering. The second half against West Ham we had this situation so we needed to change some players and you could see we were then a little more comfortable in possession, but still we were not controlling the first balls and the second balls that were really important for West Ham’s way of playing.’


  1. You make some good points. I guess it depends on your standpoint. Here I am paying big money to you writers and what for? All you do is change the words. Samuel Goldwyn 1882 1974

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