English Premier League

Chelsea job right for Benitez

Thursday 22nd November 2012 18:34

Rafa Benitez has vowed to win over Chelsea fans after the news of his appointment was met with a hostile reaction from the Stamford Bridge faithful.

The former Liverpool manager has been installed as Chelsea manager until the end of the season following the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo on Wednesday.

There was some surprise that Benitez was willing to accept a short-term contract, but the 52-year-old said the chance to manage Chelsea was too good to pass up.

"My priority was to work in the Premier League, I'm really happy to be here with a top side," said Benitez, who confirmed that Boudewijn Zenden would be his assistant.

"For me the most important thing is I am here because I want to be here. 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.

"At this level you are expected to win, do it well, and win trophies. I have a lot of years' experience at this level, and I will do what I have to do to win games.

"I like to do things in the right way for the fans. I am sure they will be happy with a manager with a winning mentality."

Benitez was also quizzed on his previous comments about Chelsea made while he was in charge of Liverpool, many of which were less than sympathetic towards the team and supporters.

He said: "I want to be honest, if I say this or that, I have to analyse the context. We were playing against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

"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 before an important game."

Guardiola

Delighted enough for Benitez to keep his job when former Barcelona boss Guardiola ends his one-year sabbatical from the game?

"At this moment, I'm here, I got the job," Benitez said.

"Winning games is a guarantee for everything. If you can do it in a row, you can win trophies.

"We have won nine trophies. Can we win more? If I go to another country or continent, or a mid-table team, I could do a great job and not win trophies.

"Here there are five trophies to win. We will see."

Benitez could not escape the suggestion he was only keeping the seat warm for Abramovich's number one target.

"I have a very good relationship with Guardiola, a great manager," he added.

"What will happen in the future, you never know.

"For nearly two years, I was waiting for the right opportunity. Now I have this chance.

"I have to do my best to try and take it."

He added: "I don't need to win trophies. I would like to win trophies."

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