The interim manager's career prospects may rest on how the Blues fare in the FA Cup and Europa League, but he says the side has "great potential" for success in the future
Chelsea interim boss Rafa Benitez is certain the current squad are strong enough to win trophies over the coming years - and that he is the man to guide them to glory.
The 52-year-old took over on a short-term basis in November following Roberto Di Matteo’s dismissal, and although a number of Blues supporters have voiced their displeasure at Benitez's presence at the club, the Spaniard insists he can develop a side in "transition" and turn them into champions once again.
"I think this group of players has great, great potential," he told the Daily Mirror. "That is more clear now in my head than it was when I arrived. Their possibility to grow is even bigger than I suspected.
"The average age of the squad is fine. The potential is there and the group of players is keen to learn. They are very good professionals and they are working hard and they are keen to learn and for me that is a big advantage.
"Some of them need more confidence and some more experience in the Premier League. They can compete now but they can be even better.
"The reality is that we are a team in transition. The priority is to finish in the top four or top three. After that, we have two more trophies that we can try with the FA Cup and the Europa League."
Chelsea’s chances of high-end silverware look impossible this season after being knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage and losing ground on Premier League leaders Manchester United, but Benitez is hungry for honours and is keen to prove his credentials to the fans.
"My ambition to win trophies is stronger than ever," he added. "People may think 'he has won a lot of trophies and maybe he is not thinking about winning any more'.
"But it is the opposite. Because you have won and won in three countries, you want to show that you can carry on winning trophies."