METRO – Rafael Benitez refuses to quit despite disastrous start as Chelsea boss

Rafael Benitez vowed not to throw in the towel at Chelsea in the wake of the Blues’ 3-1 defeat at West Ham. Rafael Benitez has drawn two and lost one of his first three games in charge of Chelsea (Picture: PA) The Spaniard admitted after yestrerday’s damaging loss he was ‘not 100 per cent sure’ his position was secure just 11 days and three matches into what has been a miserable start to life as interim manager at Stamford Bridge. But Benitez insisted he would not be driven out by fans furious at his appointment. Asked whether he would consider walking away from the abuse, jeers and protest banners that are bound to be in evidence again for the Champions League visit of Nordsjaelland on Wednesday, Benitez said: ‘No. When I decided to come, I knew it was a challenge.’ Pressed on whether the supporters could do anything to make him quit, the former Liverpool manager added: ‘We have to win games, and everyone will be happier.’ With just two points in the bag since replacing the sacked Roberto Di Matteo, Benitez is the first boss to win none of his first three games under owner Roman Abramovich, and the first not to witness a goal in his first two. The Blues are on their worst league run for 17 years – seven games without a win. And quizzed about the mood of his players Benitez added: ‘They know it is not the ideal situation and that if I am here, it is because something was wrong, that they were not at the level everyone was expecting.’ Pictures: West Ham 3 – 1 Chelsea

Details

METRO – Rafael Benitez: I was unaware of booing during Manchester City draw

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez said he was unaffected by the unwelcoming reaction from Chelsea fans during his first match at Stamford Bridge. Rafa Benitez has proved a very unpopular appointment among Chelsea fans (Picture: EPA) As soon as the Spaniard arrived in the dugout before today’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City, boos rang around the stadium, alongside chants of ‘ Rafa Benitez, we don’t want you here’. The anti-Benitez chants, as well as ones in support of former boss Roberto Di Matteo, continued throughout the 90 minutes, but the former Liverpool manager insisted he was unaware of any unrest among the home fans. ‘I am focused on the game so I don’t listen to the crowd. For me the main thing was the team’s performance on the pitch,’ he said. ‘I was just concentrating on the game, you can see from my body language I was just giving instructions to the players.’ And Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said the players need to take the positives from Di Matteo’s sacking and use it as an opportunity for a fresh start. ‘Today was about starting from zero again and getting a positive result. But 0-0 against the champions is not a bad result,’ said the Czech stopper. ‘It’s always bad news for you as a player [when a manager is sacked] because you are responsible for the situation as well. ‘We need to put things right and today we have a good point.’ But Cech also added the Chelsea fans’ reaction to Benitez was inevitable. ‘Unfortunately you can’t change the history, you never know what’s going to happen in the future,’ he added. ‘We had a lot of rivalry against Liverpool and that is where it comes from.’ Despite the response to his appointment, Benitez added he was pleased with his side’s performance, even though he was unable to get a first win under his belt as Chelsea manager. ‘It was a tough game, not an ideal result at the end but I’m really pleased with the players because they put in a great effort,’ he added. ‘Clearly you could see they were trying really hard with and without the ball.’ PICTURES: Chelsea 0 – 0 Manchester City

Details

METRO – Rafa Benitez brings in Boudewijn Zenden as Chelsea no.2

Rafeal Benitez has taken his first steps towards reshaping Chelsea by appointing Boudewijn Zenden as his new assistant manager. Blue welcome: Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez (Picture: REXMAILPIX) The former Dutch international, 36, has a connection with the Blues having played there between 2001 and 2004, and also knows Benitez, who signed him for Liverpool in 2005. Chelsea were quick to usher in ‘a new era’ under the leadership of Benitez before the Spaniard addressed his team for the first time this afternoon. The former Reds boss has taken over at Stamford Bridge on an interim basis until the end of the season after owner Roman Abramovich decided to axe Roberto Di Matteo following the Blues 3-0 defeat to Juventus. Back at the Bridge: Boudewijn Zenden (Picture: PA) Just 24 hours after the Champions League-winning coach was sacked, Chelsea’s official Twitter page gushed: ‘Good morning #CFC fans. A new era starts this morning, and Rafa Benitez is due to meet his players today. Updates to come.’Benitez will likely be flanked at the team meeting by former Chelsea midfielder Boudewijn Zenden, who he has appointed as his assistant manager. Blues midfielder Juan Mata showed slightly more sensitivity for the departed Italian, thanking him for his achievements on his official Facebook page. ‘It’s been a difficult day. Roberto Di Matteo is no longer our manager,’ said Mata yesterday. ‘I would like to thank him for all this time with us and wish him the best of luck for the future. As a player he has been a legend for the ‘Blues’. ‘With him as a manager we won our first Champions League. He will always be remembered. Good luck Robbie!’ Who will be the next permanent Chelsea manager – Top 10 contenders

Details