Rafael Benitez confident of support from Chelsea fans

Rafael Benitez insists he will win over the Chelsea fans who are unhappy with his appointment as interim manager.

Benitez, who has replaced Roberto Di Matteo until the end of the season, is unpopular with some Blues supporters after his time as Liverpool boss.

"At the end of season they will be really pleased, I am almost sure," said the 52-year-old Spaniard.

"I like to do things in the right way for the fans. The fans and manager want to win every game and I'll do my best."

Benitez's tenure begins at Stamford Bridge on Sunday with the visit of Premier League champions Manchester City.

There have been suggestions that sections of the home crowd will vent their displeasure over his appointment.

Rafael Benitez must not only satisfy the demands of an owner who seems beyond satisfaction after taking over as Chelsea manager, he must also uncover a way to win over a sceptical fanbase.

To suggest that Benitez's arrival to succeed Roberto Di Matteo has not been received with universal acclaim by Chelsea's supporters is to offer up a masterpiece of understatement.

But Benitez said: "I do not worry about the fans thinking 'what will he do?'. What I will do is my best to win the game.

"If you're competitive against top sides, like Chelsea when I was at Liverpool, winning becomes normal. If you were a supporter I would want to see this type of manager.

"Hopefully they will be happy at the end of the [City] game. Before the game they will be clever, saying they need to support the manager to win the game."

Chelsea and Liverpool developed a fierce rivalry when Jose Mourinho was in charge of the Blues and Benitez at Anfield.

Benitez made comments at the time that antagonised Chelsea fans, but the Spaniard was quick to defend himself.

"We were playing against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League," he explained.

"If I am a fan I want to see the manager fighting for my club. I don't see this as a lack of respect for Chelsea's fans, just a manager defending his team."

  • Benitez on signing new players: "Here you have a technical director and manager, who is more of a head coach. Obviously I will talk about new players if needed. But my priority is the players here at the moment."
  • Benitez on appointing Boudewijn Zenden to his coaching staff: "He was my player [at Liverpool] and had three years here. He knows the environment and the place. He knows how to work quickly here."
  • Benitez on his returning to the Premier League after a three-year absence: "Out of the game is not out of the game. When you have been watching games and analysing players it's not out of the game. I'm hungrier than ever before to win trophies."
  • Benitez on job stability: "I'm coming from Spain and I was in Italy, where they change their manager three months, six months. So it is not an issue for me."
  • Benitez on the reaction of Liverpool fans: "I can guarantee a lot of Liverpool fans will wish me all the best - although obviously not against Liverpool."

Benitez revealed he has yet to meet Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich but said he was not worried about only being offered a seven-month contract with the European champions.

Rafael Benitez

Benitez's reign as Liverpool manager

"For me the most important thing is I am here because I want to be here," he continued. "It's a massive club, a club which allows me to fight for trophies.

"I was looking for the right opportunity; I was looking for a top side who can fight for trophies.

"I don't care about the short-term [deal], what I have in my head is to win every game. We have five trophies to fight for. We will see what happens - in seven months we can win some trophies."

The former Valencia and Inter Milan boss, who hinted John Terry would stay on as captain, was relaxed with reports that he is merely keeping the manager's seat warm for former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, who is taking a year's sabbatical from the game.

"I have a very good relationship with Guardiola," he added. "He is a great manager, what will happen in future I don't know.

"When you analyse why go to a top side for seven months - it's because you can win trophies."

Asked if he thought he would still be in the job in a year's time, Benitez replied: "If I do things properly I will be happy with trophies and then we will see.

"I went to the training session today, everything was fine, they worked really well, I didn't see any problems."

On out-of-form striker Fernando Torres, who Benitez worked with at Liverpool, he added: "I was talking with him like the other players and his attitude was really good."