Blues boss blames Anfield success of fans dislike.
Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez says he is poor relationship with the Blues’ fans is because of his previous success as Liverpool boss.
The Spaniard replaced Champions League winning head-coach Roberto Di Matteo in November and has been pilloried by sections of the Stamford Bridge support, with inconsistent results doing little to stem the ill-feeling from the terraces.
“The biggest problem is that I was manager of Liverpool and I’m paying for the success I had at Anfield,” Benitez told Spanish radio station Radio Gaceta de los Deportes.
“Nevertheless, I just continue working hard and focusing on being successful with Chelsea. All we can do is show complete dedication. When we win, there’s no-one in the world happier than me.”
Benitez’s tenure in West London has seen Chelsea exit the Champions League at the group stage, lose the Club World Cup final, fall in the Carling Cup semi-final to Swansea and slip further behind Premier League leaders Manchester United.
But the former Valencia boss refused to take responsibility for the struggles, claiming he inherited a side ‘in transition’.
“When we arrived, the team was practically out of the Champions League, was slipping down the Premier League and had been given a hiding in the Super Cup [by Atletico Madrid],” he explained.
“It was a team in transition and the results weren’t good enough.
“The biggest difficulty has been having very little time to work with. We have played the most games in Europe of any team this season. You want to work on tactical aspects but you have to rotate and rest players.
“it’s not going to be easy [to ensure qualification for the Champions League] but the team is looking good. In fact, we’ve now scored more than 100 goals and we are conceding fewer.”
Benitez is unlikely to be offered a permanent role at Stamford Bridge come the end of the season and he refused to rule out managing Spain if current boss Vicente del Bosque choses to leave the currentl world and two-time European Champions after World Cup 2014.
“I don’t rule out becoming the Spain coach, if and when Vicente decides to leave,” Benitez continued.
“It’s something I would envision for further down the line, although to achieve that I have to continue in elite football and keep on doing well.”