Benitez to keep rotating Chelsea squad

Rafael Benitez has said he will maintain a rotation system at Chelsea despite seeing his side lose to the Premier League’s bottom side after the manager rested the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Ashley Cole, Sky Sports has reported.

Chelsea were beaten at Stamford Bridge by Queens Park Rangers in their first match of 2013, the only goal of the game scored by former Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips. The defeat leaves Chelsea in fourth place, 14 points adrift of table-topping Manchester United but with a game in hand.

Sky Sports claim that Benitez’s team selection against QPR came in for criticism but that the Spaniard was praised earlier in his reign at Chelsea for the way in which he tinkered with the XI for the busy schedule Chelsea faced. Chelsea’s itinerary has included not only a Champions League campaign but also a trip to Japan to participate in the Club World Cup, the competition eventually won by Corinthians.

Benitez said: “You cannot be criticised and praised for the same thing. Rotating players because we were playing so many games was really good. We can manage the squad and we have to manage the squad, because we have one game every three days.

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