Spaniard says there’s no chance he’ll leave Stamford Bridge before end of the season.
Under-fire Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez insists there is no chance he will be forced out before his contract expires at the end of this season.
Benitez has faced renewed calls for his dismissal after he launched an astonishing attack on the club’s fans and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy following his side’s 2-0 win at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday.
The 52-year-old, despised by many Chelsea fans following his spell with their rivals Liverpool, risked the wrath of Blues owner Roman Abramovich by asking why the club insisted on making him an ‘interim’ manager when he replaced the sacked Roberto di Matteo in November.
Benitez’s outburst sparked speculation that his position was in immediate danger, but the Spaniard took training as scheduled on Thursday as the European champions began preparations for Saturday’s league game with West Bromwich Albion.
And, asked during an interview with the BBC’s Football Focus programme, if he might be axed for his outburst, Benitez was adamant he retains a good enough relationship with Abramovich to be allowed to stay.
“No (I won’t be sacked). They know how we work and what we are trying to do. The players are really happy in what we are trying to do. Sometimes you win, sometimes you cannot,” Benitez said.
“The atmosphere in the club is really good. There are no issues in the team. In terms of what we do the players are fully behind the methods.”
Abramovich is regarded as one of the most demanding owners in world football and the Russian billionaire has notched up a series of high-profile sackings during nearly 10 years in charge at Stamford Bridge.
But Benitez talked positively of his rapport with Abramovich and insisted there had been no rows between the duo.