Rafa Benitez – Stands By His Earlier Statements; Praises Abramovich

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, who raised a storm with his last press conference, has said that he stands by his earlier statements.

Rafa Benitez vented his frustrations on the fans in his last press conference, after Chelsea FA cup victory over Middlesborough. He criticized the fans for not supporting the team and instead “wasting their time” preparing banners and chants against the Spaniard. Benitez also revealed in that outburst that he would be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season and also blamed the management for inserting the word “interim” in his job title.

The former Liverpool manager has stood by his statement in another interview. While taking to ABC, the 52-year-old was questioned about the current atmosphere at the club and dismissed rumours of unrest in the dressing room.

“The atmosphere at work is a good one, really good despite what certain sources have tried to make out. Our players are good professionals who try to improve everyday for the benefit of the club and the common objective. Clearly, it is true that the discordant voices that come from outside do not help the team in some games and this worries me because my obligation is to take care of the group and the team itself. This is what drove me to make the decision and face the media saying what I said”. – Benitez said.

The Chelsea manager also explained the reason for him stating his departure from the club at the end of the season. He insisted that everything he said or did was for the “good of the team”.

“I can only speak of what I do and the sincere intentions with which I do things. I repeat, I do things for the good of the team, and want to try to avoid external aspects affecting us during games and that is why I tried to explain to the rest of the fans that I have a contract that ties me to Chelsea FC until the end of the present season and until then I will work professionally and honourably to try to steer the team to the best position possible. The challenge is to finish in a Champions League place. Last season the team finished sixth and when I took over they were literally out of the Champions League, we only played one game and we won scoring six goals. At this stage, if we want to finish in the top four it would be good if we all supported the team and were as united as possible. If the idea of me extending my time at the club causes anyone any anxiety, for the good of the club and the unity of all parties, I publicly announced that they can rest assured, my tenure with the club expires at the end of the season”. – Benitez added.

The Spaniard also claimed that he has the full support of his owner and that the team is working hard to achieve its objective of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

“Abramovich has been always very supportive and respectful with the way we have been working. He loves to talk about football and enjoys watching the team playing well and winning, and obviously is disappointed when it is not like that. The team is working very hard and they have the belief that we will achieve our targets if we keep working with the same intensity and togetherness. We know that we have dropped some points in the last games but the team knows exactly what to do to improve and get the necessary points to secure a Champions League place next season. But, I have to insist, we need to be 100% focussed on this target and we don’t have to allow any external influence to interfere in our job. And I will be there to protect the team and their interests”. – Benitez told the reporter.

The Chelsea manager was aware of the fact that he won’t receive a warm welcome from the Chelsea fans due to his association with during a period when both the clubs experienced a great rivalry. Benitez insists that he had hoped win back the support from the fans but results haven’t helped his cause.

“The big rivalry between Chelsea and Liverpool was at the time I was Liverpool’s manager this something that wasn’t going to help from the beginning, although I expected to be able to overcome the situation by winning games and working honestly. We know that some of the games we have played have been really good but some haven’t, and that has not helped to change the opinion of some Chelsea supporters. The only way to achieve our targets is to keep working hard and winning games”.