Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has backed Fernando Torres to kick on after scoring twice in the UEFA Europa League win against Rubin Kazan.
The 29-year-old has often looked burdened by his £50million price tag, but last night showed glimpses of his old self in the Blues' 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.
Torres' determination allowed him to prod Chelsea ahead 16 minutes in, with Victor Moses doubling their advantage soon after.
Bebras Natcho's spot-kick brought Rubin back into the match, only for a fine Torres header to restore Chelsea's two-goal cushion ahead of the return leg in Russia.
The goals doubled the Spaniard's tally for 2013 and came as a relief to his fellow Spaniard Benitez.
Benitez said: "We could see today the confidence, that he can work hard, so physically he is fine. I think he will play well and score goals until the end of the season."
Torres' goals could prove invaluable if Benitez's temporary reign in west London is to end in trophy-lifting success.
Chelsea are gunning for a top-four finish while success in the Europa League and FA Cup is still a realistic possibility.
That does, though, bring problems of its own, increasing an already hectic fixture schedule.
"We know that it will be difficult, but I have confidence that we can manage the squad," Benitez said.
"We can make changes between or before games so the players have fresh legs and we can carry on until the end."
As for the number of personnel changes he will need to make to cope with the busy run, Benitez said: "It depends on each player.
"You have to look at the players you have, the positions, whether they have fresh legs. I don't know how many we will change, but we'll have to change players that is true."
Chelsea's attention now turns to Sunday's clash with Sunderland and trying to make it three wins on the bounce, having successfully followed up the FA Cup win against Manchester United.
"I will think positively," Benitez added. "Hopefully we can win and we'll be talking about three wins in a week."
Rubin lament late goal
While the Chelsea boss was upbeat in his post-match press conference, Rubin manager Kurban Berdyev struck a downcast figure.
"At the beginning, Chelsea were obviously playing better," he said. "They had more initiative and scored.
"I guess we just got really scared of them at some point at the beginning, especially in the first 10 to 15 minutes.
"We were getting better and in the second half we were much better, then I guess the third goal just ruined everything."