Football News

Benitez unfazed by Chelsea fans

Created on Dec. 16, 2012 12:02 PM EST

Rafa Benitez is not worried about the fans' reaction after Chelsea's 1-0 Club World Cup final defeat to Corinthians on Sunday.

Jose Paolo Guerrero's second-half strike secured victory for the Brazilian side in Japan as Gary Cahill capped a miserable end to the tournament for Chelsea with a late red card.

Benitez has faced a hostile welcome to his reign at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea fans displaying their objection to the Spaniard's appointment during several Premier League games.

"I don't think I am worried about what the reception of supporters will be back in England, we played a very good game against Monterrey and today we did well too," Benitez told reporters.

"It is still early, we need to improve day after day, and week after week, and win games.

"As we return we have Leeds and Villa, we will go back fighting for the next challenges. We'll begin to prepare seeing who is available, we'll study the opposition, see what we have to do.

"We must work on the positives and I have seen lot of positives here, we played against a good team, but still had plenty of chances, still we need to improve.

"There were five trophies now only four, but I saw a good game (against Monterrey) the other day good things today as well. But, sure, we must improve."

Benitez admits his side paid the price for failing to finish against Corinthians but was buoyed by the number of opportunities Chelsea created.

"We knew it would have been a tough game, they are a good team, they created one chance, and scored. We did not take our chances, and that in the end made the difference," he said.

"They were physically strong, well organised, experience. They were wasting time, surrounding the ref, managing the game well. I don't say that as a negative thing, I mean they were experienced, but we still could have won."

Meanwhile, Corinthians coach Tite has hailed the 15,000 supporters who travelled to Japan from Brazil for the match.

"The supporters have been great since we left Brazil. All the way into the stadium we heard them the whole time, we really made it this far because of them," Tite said.

"The supporters played with us, they are like players. I don't know where they get the energy, but when the team is running out of stamina, the supporters inject energy into us. They really are so passionate."

Corinthians had been the underdogs going into the final against the European champions, but Tite insists his side's recent defensive record left them full of confidence.

"We respected Chelsea, but we charged into the game confident that we conceded very few goals in recent games," he said.

"The first half was quite balanced, we had opportunities and Chelsea have agile players who counter-attacked well. Also they used long balls.

"They ran a lot and quickly, so we adjusted our marking system to stop them, as we did not want to give them space to run. We had to stop Lampard and their fast players.

"In the second half we were getting tired, but we were able to score. We could have killed the game, but we did not, but we stayed calm."

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