Chelsea playmaker Mata not feeling the strain

Juan Mata has rejected suggestions that he needs to be rested after making his 29th Chelsea appearance on the season, Sky Sports has reported.

Mata also travelled to Euro 2012 with Spain and then returned to London to compete in the Olympics, having also had a late end to last season because of Chelsea’s involvement in the Champions League.

Rafael Benitez, the interim Chelsea manager, had accused former boss Roberto Di Matteo of over-playing some of the Chelsea squad but Mata, who made his 50th Premier League appearance against Norwich City on Boxing Day, is in no mood to sit out any forthcoming fixture.

I want to play more, I want to keep playing, keep training, keep enjoying this club and this Premier League,” Mata said, adding: “I’m very happy with how it’s going – the season – for me and for the team and I just have to keep working.

Chelsea are third in the Premier League, 11 points adrift of table-topping Manchester United, but with a game in hand. Benitez’s Blues travel to Merseyside on Sunday to meet fifth-placed Everton, with Chelsea on a three-match league unbeaten run, scoring 12 goals – eight of which came against Aston Villa – in the process.

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