RAFA BENITEZ refused to take the credit for his team reaching the Europa League final, saying his players and backroom staff deserved the praise.
The Spaniard has endured a tough spell as interim manager but will have taken quiet satisfaction from his team's 3-1 win against Basel which secured safe passage to the final at the Amsterdam ArenA on May 15.
“Reaching the final's not just about me, it's about the players, the staff and the fans and everyone who was helping the team,” he said.
“As a manager, you have to do your job and when you play in a final, it's really good, but the main thing is we are in the final and we'll try to win.
“I'm very pleased to be there. We've been working so hard all year to be in finals and semi-finals and now we are in another final and I think the players deserve to be there.
“I'm really pleased for the players and for everybody here at the club. We know that the final will be tough because we know Benfica are a very very dangerous team to play against, but at least we are there and I think with our commitment and quality we'll have a chance for sure.”
Benitez said reaching a second European final in two years is a fine achieveemnt considering the club have been in transition.
“I said before that with all the circumstances from the beginning and with a squad in transition, we're doing a good job,” he said.
“We're trying to improve things without too much time because we are playing two games every week and I think we did well and hopefully we can finish even better.
“I think it's important to show this character and to to keep winning, and we always say keep the momentum and hopefully we can do it. Man United will be tough and Tottenham will be crucial for us so we know that we have difficult games, but we have confidence and enough quality in the team and hopefully we can do well.”
Speaking about the fact the Blues trailed 1-0 to Basel at half-time, the Blues boss added: “At half time I was just telling the players the things we were not doing well and the things that we could improve and the reaction was really good. Good players with quality can make a difference.”