28th of February 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez has said he will leave the club in May and said the decision to give him the title "interim manager" was a "massive mistake". The statement came after Chelsea defeated Middlesbrough 2-0 in the FA Cup fifth round, when the Spaniard also had some hard words for some of the club's fans. "Chelsea gave me the title of interim manager, which is a massive mistake. I'm the manager. The fans are not helping us. At the end of the season I will leave. They don't have to worry about me."
Benitez's interview came after the former Liverpool boss was targeted by a section of the Blues' own supporters. The 52-year-old Spanish manager has always been unpopular with some Blues fans since he took over from Champions League-winning manager Roberto Di Matteo in November. Those fans were unable to forgive Benitez for his association with Liverpool, and the bitter rivalry formed with Jose Mourinho, who was managing Chelsea at the time.
"I have been in charge in football for 26 years, I won the Champions League, I won the Fifa Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Super Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies - all the trophies you can win at club level," said Benitez after the easy victory against Middlesbrough. "So this group of fans are not making any favourites with the team and they are singing and wasting time preparing banners. They have to concentrate on supporting the team, that's what they have to do. Every game they continue singing and preparing banners, they are wasting time. What they have to do is support the team. I am a professional and I am doing my job. What I want to do is win every single game for Chelsea."
Reports claimed that Benitez had a heated exchange with members of his squad after their 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday but the manager insists he has a good relationship with his players and also stated that he is satisfied with the FA Cup performance. "I have a top side and a good group of players who work hard and it is a top club, it is not a problem," he said. "The problem is a group of people who can say what they want."
Chelsea have won just 14 of 27 matches since Benitez took charge and are fourth in the Premier League, 19 points behind leaders Manchester United. A title bid is highly unlikely at this point so Chelsea have to focus on qualifying for the Champions League, which means finishing anywhere in the top four in the Premier League table. Bet365 have a special bet for that, you can take a guess at which team will finish in the top four at the end of the season. Chelsea are priced at 1/4, Tottenham at 8/15 and Arsenal at 10/11.
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