The new Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez marked his Premier League return with a goalless draw against the defending champions Manchester City. In spite of being welcomed by boos from the crowd, the Spaniard had positive comments after the game.
Chelsea fans expressed their disappointment over bringing in Rafael Benitez to Stamford Bridge with chants and banners. After the match Rafael Benitez told reporters that he did not pay attention to negativity from the crowd. The 55-year-old manager confessed that he might not be a popular figure in Chelsea given that he was at the center of a healthy rivalry with the club from his old days at Liverpool.
Rafael Benitez insisted that he didn’t heard big complains from the crowd. The former Inter Milan and Valencia manager suggested that once he brought Chelsea back to the winning way he won’t have to deal with the disappointment of meeting unhappy Chelsea fans.
“I am focused on the game, I don't listen to the crowd,” Rafael Benitez said. “The main thing was the team on the pitch. I was not listening, I was just concentrating on the game.
“It was a tough game against a good team, no clear chances for them or us. It's not the ideal (result) but to have a clean sheet and to see the spirit and mentality and work rate was quite positive.
“You could see they were trying really hard with and without the ball and against a great team they had some chances.”
Rafael Benitez was unaware of the chants from Chelsea fans. Upon informing what they said the Spaniard admitted he wasn’t surprised at their reaction to his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
“How many people do you need to write a banner? Just one. Then two holding it. If we start winning games, they will come on board and they will see I'll try to do my best,” Rafael Benitez said.
“The main things is that the players are focused on the games. If they are, it'll be fine. I have confidence we will do well and win games. Some of the fans will realise it's not the way to support their team.”
It appears as if Roman Abramovich is the only Rafael Benitez fan at Chelsea. Rafael Benitez understands that the mega-rich Russian is the only Chelsea fan he needs to please and he can achieve that by leading Chelsea to victories.
“He knows it was a tough game, a difficult time after the last games,” Rafael Benitez said referring to the 0-0 draw against Manchester City. “He's [Roman Abramovich] like me. He knows we have to win, want to win, and we keep working for that.”