Cole ruled out for two weeks but Benitez insists Chelsea can cope in Kazan crunch
12:35 GMT, 3 April 2013
13:07 GMT, 3 April 2013
Rafa Benitez has revealed that Chelsea will be without Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for at least two weeks.
Cole was rested for the Premier League defeat by Southampton but returned to face Manchester United in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final victory at Stamford Bridge.
But he injured his hamstring in the opening quarter of the match and was replaced by Ryan Bertrand – who may end up having to play four times in a week.
Look here: Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez and defender Ryan Bertrand speak to the press on Wednesday
All smiles: John Terry (centre left) and Juan Mata (centre right) tussle during Chelsea training on Wednesday
Ahead of Thursday night’s match
against Rubin Kazan, Benitez said: ‘I’d say at least two weeks for both
Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill. We are without Oriol Romeu as you know and
Demba Ba cannot play. That’s it.
‘You train to do little things because you do not have much time and you cannot push too hard.
‘We concentrate one game at a time so we pick a team who can win any game and concentrate on this game. They have to be ready for any game.
‘Since I came and with the fixtures we have I think we’re doing really well.’
The victory over United has proved a huge boost for the under-fire manager, at a club who have become somewhat FA Cup specialists.
‘We proved against a team at the top of the table and a manager with the most trophies in England that we can compete against anyone if we have the time and players available. One game every three days, you cannot do everything you want to do. I’m happy with what we’re doing. It was an important game for us. We did really well against United and it shows we can reach this level. We played against a very good team.’
Bertrand added: ‘Ashley’s injury means it’s a chance for me to come in and play in the next few games but it’s important to focus on the next game and make sure we get the right result.
‘As a player you want to win each game you go into and as far in every competition as you can.'
Asked about Rubin, he said: ‘They’ve done well, they’ve knocked out the holders and they will give us tough competition.’
Limped off: Ashley Cole was injured in the FA Cup replay victory over Manchester United on Monday
Crocked: Centre-back Gary Cahill (left) also faces a spell on the sidelines due to injury
Soldiering on: Fernando Torres is ready to face Rubin Kazan despite his facial injury