Benitez: Chelsea can still win the Premier League title

The interim boss hopes that success in the Club World Cup final on Sunday can inspire the Blues to catch current leaders Manchester United upon their return to England
Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has insisted that the Blues are still in the Premier League title race despite the 10-point gap between themselves and leaders Manchester United.

The Spanish coach could secure his first silverware since his controversial appointment in the Club World Cup by beating Corinthians in Yokohama on Sunday and hopes they will go on to claw they way back into the title race when they return to England.

The European champions could be a massive 16 points off the top of the table by the time they face Aston Villa in the league next Sunday. Benitez, however, remains optimistic his side can catch the two Manchester clubs after three consecutive wins.

"I agree that neither United nor City look unbeatable or a team that is going to run away with the championship." Benitez told reporters.

"I've been asked if it's a two-horse race now, and I know that people want to create that story. But realistically, if you analyse three points for a game, if you win two or three in a row you have more confidence.

"If we win against Corinthians it will be an important boost for everyone. If we play good football and they have more confidence, with the quality we have and the balance we are improving on the field, the team can win games in a row, easily."

Benitez recalled his final season at Valencia, where his side bridged an eight-point gap to win La Liga ahead of Barcelona.

"In my final year at Valencia, 2004, we were eight points behind in February but I was in a corridor with some of the big players and said, 'Listen, we will win the league,'" he added.

"They looked at me, and I repeated, 'Listen, we can win the league.' And we finished eight points ahead. Why did I feel that? Because of the way that we trained. I was confident we would get better.

"If we can do against Villa what we have done here [at the Club World Cup], at the same level, it will start building that confidence."