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Rafa: Don't Blame Bran

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has put a comforting arm over the shoulder of Branislav Ivanovic.

Serbian defender Ivanovic is enduring a run of poor form, and was to blame for both of the goals the Blues conceded in their recent Capital One Cup defeat to Swansea.

But Benitez says that Ivanovic’s mistakes were the kind of errors every honest professional will make during the course of their careers.

And so the Spaniard will not punish or admonish Ivanovic for his howlers. According to Benitez, the anger Ivanovic felt towards himself was punishment enough.

"The first thing I did after the game last week was tell him that I am not worried about a player making a mistake," said Benitez regarding the defending in the Daily Mirror.

"I am only worried about a player not trying to do things in the way we want to do things. But Branislav is a fantastic player.

"He knew he had made individual mistakes, but at the same time he was trying to do his best and that's fine.

"Branislav was really disappointed, as he's quite emotional. When he makes mistakes they affect him maybe too much.

"But I told him, 'I'm not blaming anybody for a mistake - but I will blame you if you don't do something we've been practising in a training session'.

"He said 'sorry' to the other players, but when you try to do your best and make a mistake you don't need to.

"It just shows he's a great person and pro. He's someone who has passion and I have no hesitation picking him."

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