Benitez stands firm over comments
Rafael Benitez has refused to bow to pressure to apologise for his controversial comments about Chelsea as he prepared to run the gauntlet with their fans again.
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Blues supporters called for their new manager to say sorry on Monday for what they perceive as criticism of them while he was in charge at Liverpool.
Benitez endured a savage reception upon his introduction as Chelsea boss in Sunday's Barclays Premier League draw against Manchester City and fan groups have suggested there will be no let up in tomorrow's west London derby with Fulham.
The chair of Chelsea Supporters' Group said an apology would help win over some fans but, as during his unveiling on Thursday, Benitez questioned the accuracy of some of the quotes attributed to him.
"The problem is we can analyse what I said and didn't say," he said.
"We can't be checking if it's true or not. I'll try my best to win their trust. That's it."
One comment that is beyond dispute is Benitez's praise of the passion of Liverpool fans, which included a sideways dig at that of Chelsea supporters.
The quote has been immortalised at the Reds' Melwood training ground and pressed on whether he would apologise for it, he said: "I was praising the fans of my club, my team.
"But I'm here now, it's my club, and I will do my best for them.
"That's my explanation, very easy and very simple.
"I will try to defend my club, and this is now my club."