Benitez tells Abramovich: My Chelsea squad is not big enough

The Stamford Bridge manager believes injuries, the Blues' hectic fixture schedule and his side's style of play means he would ideally have more players at his disposal
Rafa Benitez has hinted he would like to see additional transfer movement in January, saying his Chelsea squad has not been big enough to cope with the demands of this season.

Chelsea’s interim manager has voiced his view to club owner Roman Abramovich, and feels the team playing in eight competitions this campaign is starting to take its toll.

The Blues face Brentford in the FA Cup this weekend and Benitez says he cannot rest as many players as he may want to because of the lack of options he has at his disposal.

“We cannot rest too many players because our squad is not that big in certain positions,” the manager told reporters.

“I had a good conversation about this with the owner the other day. I gave my opinion, he listened to me. But I have to concentrate on the team.

“I have to play Frank Lampard and Ramires all the time because we have problems with injuries and suspensions and we have two players at the African Nations Cup.

“We have had nine games a month since I came here and the players are a little tired. You can really see the difference when players are allowed to have a rest.

“When they have three or four days to recover they are fine. When they only have two they are not so good. The squad we have was successful in the past and as a result we have had more competitions this season.

“This season we have had to play extra games in Japan and Monaco. We have players at the African Nations Cup and we’ve had to cope with injuries to Lampard, Terry and Romeu.”

Benitez believes his side’s new fluid style of play this season also means it is important to have greater options in the squad, with the players not being the most physically blessed in comparison to the other top Premier League outfits.

“We cannot play long balls when we have Mata, Hazard and Oscar in our team,” added the Spaniard. "Torres isn’t a target man so we have to play the ball on the floor. We are a team that has to pass.

“You cannot change the characteristics of your players. Technically we are better than some teams but maybe they are physically stronger.”

Chelsea have only made one signing so far in January, bringing in Demba Ba from Newcastle for a fee of around £7 million.