Benitez gives no clues on Frank's future at Blues
CHELSEA interim manager Rafael Benitez again brushed aside questions about Frank Lampard's future at the club, stressing his job was just to keep the midfielder fit and scoring goals.
The 34-year-old is reportedly not going to have his contract renewed in the summer, but the England international showed his worth to the side again with two strikes in the 2-1 win at Everton.
Having gone behind to Steven Pienaar's effort barely two minutes into the game, Lampard pulled his side up to third place with goals either side of half-time.
"Lampard is a great player, a good professional, who is doing well for us and I will try to bring the best out of him until the end of the season," said Benitez.
"He is one of the players who, if he gets in the box, he can be dangerous.
"He is under contract. He has shown his full commitment. He is a great player and my job is to keep him fit, happy and scoring goals.
"If he can score goals every game, I'll be pleased."
A fourth successive league win ensured Chelsea finished 2012 in third place in the table, just four points behind second-placed Manchester City with a match in hand.
They became only the third team to win in the league at Goodison Park this year and the first since late March.
"It was a great win for us," said Benitez.
"The team showed their character and quality and, although we made mistakes at the beginning, the reaction was really good.
"We knew they could be tough, but we had confidence in the players.
"We put Ramires on the right side against Leighton Baines and he gave us a great game, too."
Benitez also refused to comment on speculation the club had entered negotiations to sign Newcastle striker Demba Ba.
"We don't talk about our business in public. My job is to prepare for the games, enjoy them if we win and then after they (the club) will let me know what is going to happen," he said.
Chelsea are set to be without Petr Cech for Wednesday's game against QPR after the goalkeeper was forced off at half-time. "He felt something in his adductor and we didn't want to take the risk," said the Chelsea boss.
Everton manager David Moyes was frustrated his side had not taken at least a point from the game having gone ahead so early and then seen Nikica Jelavic hit the woodwork twice before missing an added-time chance to snatch a draw.
Moyes said: "I thought we were a bit unlucky. We tried to make what we had work the best we could today and for long periods I thought we did."