Benitez launches stunning attack
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez launched a stunning attack on the club’s board and fans following last night’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough.
The Spaniard, who has been lambasted by supporters since arriving at Stamford Bridge due in part to his Liverpool connections, also confirmed he would leave the club at the end of the season at the post-match press conference.
He tore into the situation at Chelsea, and suggested some fans are responsible for the team’s poor form.
Benitez told BBC Radio 5 Live, as reported by Goal.com: “I’m a little bit disappointed with a group of fans singing, and I think they are not doing any favours for the team.
“They have to support the team instead of wasting time making banners and singing songs, and create a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.
“They have to support the players. I am an experienced manager, and I will do my best until the last day.”
The Spaniard was again the subject of abuse and chanting from a large section of the Chelsea support at the Riverside.
Until now, Benitez has refused to criticise the fans, but he blasted them last night and insisted they were doing the team harm.
He admitted part of the fans’ ‘agenda’ relates to his days as boss at Anfield, but also feels the club’s decision to describe him as ‘interim’ manager has led to the current situation.
He added: “They gave me the title of ‘Interim Manager’. It’s a massive mistake.
“I’m the manager, and I will manage the team until the end, every single minute.
“If they want to carry on wasting time because they have an agenda, they have to accept responsibility when something is wrong.
“It’s not just ‘We blame this one or that one’. They have to support the team.
“If we stick together, we can achieve what we want to achieve – the Champions League. If not, they can carry on singing but it will be in the Europa League.”
Benitez also suggested that only a section of Chelsea fans are harming the team and targeting him, but that they could cost the club a place in the top four this season.
Benitez added: “They have to realise they are not doing any favours for the rest of the fans, and also to the players.
“I am a professional, I am doing my job. What I want to do is win every single game for Chelsea Football Club.
“At the end of the season I will leave, they don’t have to worry about me.
“All they have to do is to support the team, support the players. It is a group of people who have an agenda.
“They have to realise the rest of the fans want to see the team in the Champions League next year.
“It’s not about whether I’m right or wrong. We have to see the team in the Champions League next year.
“They have to support the team. At the end of the season I will leave, they don’t have to worry about me.”