Rafael Benitez has not lost faith in Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic despite the Serbia international making some costly errors in recent matches, Sky
Benitez added that the mistakes made by Ivanovic – where he twice gave the ball away in dangerous areas against Swansea City in the Capital One Cup semi-final – are not the sort of blunders that cause him concern.
The interim Blues boss added that he is more bothered about players who venture outside of the manager’s instructions. He said: “ The first thing I did after the game last week was tell [Ivanovic] that I am not worried about a player making a mistake.
“I am only worried about a player not trying to do things in the way we want to do things. But Branislav is a fantastic player.”
Benitez went on to say that he did not lay any blame on the Swansea defeat on Ivanovic, and revealed that Ivanovic had apologised to his teammates after the match for his role in both Swansea goals.
The second-leg of the fixture is due to be played at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium on January 23, three days after Chelsea host Arsenal in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge. Michu and Danny Graham were the Swansea players able to capitalise on Ivanovic’s slips, putting Chelsea in a must-win position when they go to south Wales.
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