Chelsea boss Benitez pleased with European and domestic progress

The interim boss is happy with the Blues' progress in the FA Cup and Europa League as they aim for a top-three finish, but he is aware of the difficulties the two ties will pose.
Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez believes the club can be "really pleased" with their current domestic and European performances as it looks to claim a cup double and top-three finish in the league.

Benitez takes his side to Wembley on Sunday to face Manchester City for a place in the final of the FA Cup, while a semifinal fixture with Basel is the only obstacle between the Blues and the Europa League final. The former Liverpool manager has consistently faced opposition from the home support, yet Benitez believes he has done well to navigate his team to its current position given the inexperience in his squad.

"In terms of two semifinals and still in the top three [in the Premier League] we're really pleased,” Benitez told reporters. "It's a young squad with new players coming into the Premier League. We still need more experience, but that's getting better.

"It's still too early. We will see what happens at the end of the season, but top three, another semifinal. Not bad."

The 52-year-old Benitez suffered defeat to Manchester City in their last meeting in February but is adamant his side won’t make the same mistakes again, while acknowledging that Basel would pose a tricky obstacle in the Europa League.

"We know what we did wrong against them [Manchester City] in the league and we'll make sure we don't make the same mistakes," Benitez said. "They're a good team in a good position in the table, and did well against Manchester United the other day. We know it'll be difficult but it's a semifinal in a massive competition.

"Basel is not too far away so maybe it's not a bad option [in the Europa League semifinal], only because of that. They're a good team, an offensive team, and will be dangerous as well."

Follow GOAL.COM on