FERNANDO Torres has the confidence to go on a goal spree between now and the end of the season, according to Rafa Benitez.
The masked striker netted twice in Thursday night's 3-1 win over Rubin Kazan to take his tally for the season to 18 goals, and his boss thinks there is more to come.
Torres will almost certainly step down in favour of Demba Ba against Sunderland on Sunday, but for once it won't be a sign of impatience over his form.
Ba cannot play in the Europa League, so Torres will be needed in Moscow for the second leg of the tie with Rubin, so will probably be held back at the weekend.
“I think that Fernando needed to score because every press conference there were the same questions,” said Benitez.
“We could see today that he could work hard – that physically he is fine. I think that he will score goals until the end of the season.
“Fernando was training really well and working really hard, so I'm pleased for him – not just with the goals but also the contribution for the team and the work rate.
“It's true we always talk about the strikers that they have to score goals, and the confidence will be there. With Fernando we could see from the beginning today, his movement, his passing and touch of the ball was much better because of the confidence he had.
“Everybody was saying he's not been scoring since this day, or that day, but I still think he has scored some goals and I am sure he will score even more.”
The away goal Kazan scored with a first half penalty was the only blot on a tie Chelsea controlled, but they are still in pole position to reach the semi-finals.
“I am happy, but not 100 per cent because we conceded a goal when we were in control of the game,” said the Blues' boss. “It's a shame that we were a little bit relaxed and conceded this goal.
“They have to score two goals now and if we don't score, it will be enough for them, but we have confidence that we can score.
“I think the third goal ruined everything for us,” conceded Rubin's boss Kurban Berdyev, who said he would make changes for the second leg.