The players are clearly listening — and responding — to Benitez.
And he insisted: “I said before I wanted to manage a top side. Chelsea are a top side, so I am really pleased for this reason.
“It makes me even happier watching the players training, working so hard and even winning. You have to win. After the Club World Cup in Japan, we’ve won games and showed real character. We have tried to improve things and they have responded really well.
“To be fair, I am adapting myself to the players. I know what we want and what we are trying to achieve. The main thing is the feedback from them and that is really good. We listen to them and adjust things in our way, but we give them some freedom in the way they want to play.
“I think we have a good balance. You can see the players are keen to learn, that is the main thing. I talk about balance. You could see against Aston Villa we had been looking to improve the attack.
“Also, the balance means you have to be strong defensively and a clean sheet is positive. The reaction of the players is good as they know they can go forward because the defence is doing well."