Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez said his players were reaping the benefits of changes he had brought to the style of play, on the eve of a Club World Cup showdown with Monterrey. “We’ve tried to change little things, things we could improve,” said the Spaniard, who replaced Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo last month.
“Tactically, we’ve tried to be more compact. When you change manager, players want to prove that they should be picked for every game and that’s been the situation,” he added ahead of the Blues semi-final clash in Japan with the CONCACAF champions from Mexico.
Benitez, who led Inter Milan to glory at the Club World Cup in 2010, said he was taking nothing for granted at the Japan showpiece.
“I cannot refer to the final, because we have to win the semi-finals (first). I intend to win, so I will try to use the best team possible for winning the game, and after that we will think about the other one,” he said when asked about his chances of meeting Brazil’s Corinthians in Sunday’s final. Corinthians beat beat Egypt’s Al Ahly 1-0 in the other semi-final yesterday.
Benitez said Monterrey, who cruised past Asian champs Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 in the quarters, “are a good team, who can play the passing game and move the ball easily.”
Meanwhile, Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich sounded confident too: “We want to show our potential and write history.”