Benitez: Torres will win over fans

  • Last Updated: January 12 2013, 9:12 GMT

Rafael Benitez predicts Chelsea's fans will fall back in love with Fernando Torres again.

Fernando Torres: Jeered off against Swansea
Fernando Torres: Jeered off against Swansea

Fernando Torres

9. Fernando Torres

Title Number
Appearances 1 (1)
Goals 1
Assists 0
Yellows 1
Reds 0
*Current Season

Torres was hailed as the club's saviour when he arrived at Stamford Bridge two years ago for a whopping £50million fee, but he has struggled to live up to even the most mild expectations.

Part of the reason behind Benitez's appointment as Blues interim boss was to get the striker back to his best, but despite a slight improvement, Torres still looks a shadow of the hitman who tore the best defences in Europe apart while at Anfield.

Chelsea's fans had been patient with Torres up until Wednesday night, when he was sarcastically applauded off after 81 minutes following a poor display in which he touched the ball just 19 times and barely threatened the Swansea goal.

Benitez, who revealed illness had prompted Torres' poor performance, still thinks the former Atletico Madrid hitman can win the Blues faithful round, though.

"The fans loved Torres when he was scoring and giving everything," Benitez told a press conference. "They will love him again when he starts scoring goals again. They will appreciate the effort."

Chelsea's supporters had called for the introduction of Ba, who scored twice on debut at Southampton last Saturday, for almost the entire second half on Wednesday, but he did not come on until nine minutes were left.

Benitez revealed on Friday he had delayed bringing Ba on as he was struggling with a hamstring injury. The Spaniard also confirmed Torres had been struggling with a stomach bug prior to kick-off, which explains his poor showing against the Swans.

"He (Torres) had a bug, a virus and needed tablets from the club doctor," Benitez said. "The other day he was sick on the bench (at Southampton). That was why he didn't play.

"He is feeling better now but he had the problem for a week or more. He was trying (against Swansea).

"He was there and making an effort just in case. Fernando concentrated on trying to do his job (despite his illness) and that is the sign of a great character."


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