Benitez understands boo-boys

  • Last Updated: February 12 2013, 8:41 GMT

Rafa Benitez says he can appreciate why Chelsea supporters are frustrated but he remains convinced the team can become great again.

Rafa Benitez: Hoping to win over Chelsea fans
Rafa Benitez: Hoping to win over Chelsea fans

Benitez was an unpopular choice as manager when he was placed in interim charge following the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo earlier in the season, and he has struggled to win fans round due to a run of inconsistent results.

He says he can understand their feelings but has become accustomed to criticism and is working as hard as he can to get the Blues back on track.

Team Score Team
Chelsea 4 - 1 Wigan
Newcastle 3 - 2 Chelsea
Reading 2 - 2 Chelsea
Brentford 2 - 2 Chelsea
Swansea 0 - 0 Chelsea
Chelsea 2 - 1 Arsenal

"I cannot change the perception people have of me because I was successful at Liverpool against Chelsea," Benitez told the Daily Mirror. "I thought when I came that if I carried on winning games here, it would get easier.

"But if you cannot win all the time, I understand that sometimes the fans get a little bit frustrated. And I am frustrated too.

"But at any club, whatever its circumstances, there are always going to be people who do not agree with you.

"In football in England, you have 60million managers. In Spain, there are 40million managers. Everyone has an opinion. You have to accept that this is normal."

Position Player Score
1 Man Utd 65
2 Man City 53
3 Chelsea 49
4 Tottenham 48
5 Arsenal 44
6 Everton 42

Benitez insists he is more confident than ever that Chelsea have the capability to enjoy another golden era in the next few years, but he feels this is a transitional season and says the main target is finishing in the top four.

"I think this group of players has great, great potential," the Spaniard enthused. "That is more clear now in my head than it was when I arrived. Their possibility to grow is even bigger than I suspected.

"Some of them need more confidence and some more experience in the Premier League. They can compete now but they can be even better.

"The reality is that we are a team in transition. The priority is to finish in the top four or top three. After that, we have two more trophies that we can try with the FA Cup and the Europa League."


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