Benitez takes aim at Chelsea fans, board
By Football News
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season, slamming their fans and the board.
The Spaniard delivered an astonishing post-match tirade after witnessing the travelling Chelsea support chanting: "Rafa Benitez, we know what you are," during their 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Wednesday.
Benitez was an unpopular appointment to replace Roberto Di Matteo in November and has been unable to win over the fans after a series of inconsistent performances.
In a remarkable rant after his team moved into the FA Cup quarter-finals, Benitez took aim at the fans, who he said had an 'agenda'.
"I am a professional, I am doing my job. What I want to do is win every single game for Chelsea Football Club," he told BBC Radio.
"At the end of the season I will leave, they don't have to worry about me.
"All they have to do is to support the team, support the players. It is a group of people who have an agenda. They have to realise the rest of the fans want to see the team in the Champions League next year.
"It's not about whether I'm right or wrong. We have to see the team in the Champions League next year.
"They have to support the team. At the end of the season I will leave, they don't have to worry about me."
The Chelsea board also came in for criticism from the former Liverpool manager, who was unhappy with the 'interim' title handed to him.
Benitez said it was a 'massive mistake' and urged the fans to support the team rather than continually question his position.
"I'm a little bit disappointed with a group of fans singing, and I think they are not doing any favours for the team," the Spaniard said.
"They have to support the team instead of wasting time making banners and singing songs, and create a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.
"They have to support the players. I am an experienced manager, and I will do my best until the last day.
"They gave me the title of 'interim manager'. It's a massive mistake. I'm the manager, and I will manage the team until the end, every single minute.
"If they want to carry on wasting time because they have an agenda, they have to accept responsibility when something is wrong.
"It's not just 'We blame this one or that one'. They have to support the team. If we stick together, we can achieve what we want to achieve – the Champions League. If not, they can carry on singing but it will be in the Europa League.
"They have to realise they are not doing any favours for the rest of the fans, and also to the players."