Chelsea back on track ahead of Club World Cup clash, Rafael Benitez says
Back-to-back victories show confidence has returned to Blues side in run-up to clash with Concacaf champions Monterrey, Benitez says
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez claims his side's confidence could not be any higher as they turn their attention to the Club World Cup in Japan.
The Blues crashed out of the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday and travelled to Sunderland's Stadium of Light on Saturday on the back of their worst domestic run for 18 years.
However, a comprehensive 3-1 win over the Black Cats made it nine goals in four days after Wednesday's 6-1 rout of Danish side Nordsjaelland, and provided a timely morale boost ahead of the trip to Yokohama.
Chelsea take on Concacaf champions Monterrey of Mexico in their opening Club World Cup fixture on Thursday, and Benitez believes it could be a successful trip given his side's upbeat mood.
"I was pleased with the way we played in the Champions League game, with passion and desire right to the end, and this was another good performance," Benitez said.
"If you are going to a tournament like this, it is important to show what you can do on the pitch and play well.
"It's important to have an opportunity to win any trophy, but especially a trophy like this one.
"I have managed [Inter Milan] to victory in the competition before and that was a great experience for me, and hopefully this will be a great experience for the players," he added.
"We are concerned because we know the schedule will be difficult, but we are trying to organise everything properly.
"It might not be ideal because we have to go and then play a game in three days time, but we will try to do our best."
Saturday's victory over Sunderland came courtesy of a first-half brace from Fernando Torres, who scored with a first-time volley and a penalty, and a second-half strike from Juan Mata.
Adam Johnson threatened to spark a Sunderland revival with a curled effort, but Chelsea ran out comfortable winners.
The only negative for the Blues was a knee injury to Oriel Romeu that is likely to prevent the Spanish midfielder from travelling to Japan.
"He will return to London and the doctor will look at him to see how he is," Benitez said. "But when a player leaves the pitch limping and we have to go to Japan right now, it will be difficult for him."
Monterrey defeated South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 in Japan yesterday. Two goals from forward Cesar Delgado and one from midfielder Jesus Corona put the Concacaf champions through, in a match which saw the goal-line technology Hawk-Eye used for the first time.