Back-to-back defeats to QPR and Swansea at Stamford Bridge have undone some of his early good work, with Chelsea fans angered by his post-match comments after defeat in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal.
Benitez started Fernando Torres, despite the Spaniard suffering from a stomach bug, against Swansea. He was then booed off the pitch as fans clamored for the introduction of January signing Demba Ba, but the Spaniard says Ba was not fit to play from the start.
"I was surprised the other day when I spoke about Fernando's problems with his stomach [and that] we couldn't play Demba Ba because he had a niggle," Benitez told reporters. "Afterwards it was said I was making excuses, but I wasn't making excuses.
"I am still being criticized for making the decision to play Fernando Torres instead of Demba Ba, who was a big risk if he got injured. If you know Demba Ba could be injured, it is my job as manager to make this decision. He scored two against Southampton [in the FA Cup] but couldn't play the next game against Swansea because of a niggle. If we can continue winning games, it's not a case of I can't win."Benitez hopes Chelsea's fine away form can continue at Southampton on Wednesday night but maintains that solving the team's problems at home is down to being clinical in front of goal.
"We are doing well away but at home other teams play deep and wait and there's less space," he said. "We are still creating chances but the main thing is to be more clinical.
"If we take our chances it will be totally different because the teams we play will be more open and we will have the space we're looking for. But if that's not the case, as in the last two games, it is more difficult. If a team puts 11 players behind the ball you have to find the space and be more precise."