'Working under Abramovich will be easier than my time at Anfield'

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The Independent Online

Rafael Benitez revealed last night he had not met Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, before his unveiling as manager last night. Benitez said he had not even spoken to the man who has removed seven managers in eight years, but said it would be "easier" at Chelsea than working for two owners at Liverpool.

"I will meet [Abramovich] today," Benitez said yesterday evening. "The main thing is that I have spoken to Michael Emenalo, the technical director, and he is my link. I like to speak about football with him. That's my priority. My agent was doing his job. I was focusing on other things."

Benitez's tenure at Liverpool was dominated by politics, particularly regarding the club's two feuding American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Benitez said working for one all-powerful owner would be easier than his situation at Anfield

"It was a difficult time, but still we were performing," Benitez remembered of his stint at Liverpool. "Now you have a different situation and it will be easier. If you have two bosses who aren't talking to each other, it's difficult. You want a striker and one of them says: 'I don't know.'"

Benitez would not comment on the news that Mark Clattenburg had been cleared following accusations of racial abuse. Prospect, the referees' union, called last night for an apology, compensation and a charity donation from Chelsea. "I want to concentrate on football issues," Benitez said.

Joining Benitez at Stamford Bridge will be former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Boudewijn Zenden as well as coaches Paco de Miguel and Xavi Valero. "I will not change too much because, when I spoke with Emenalo, we knew they had some good coaches with the staff here," he said. "I will bring some people who will be easier for me. I chose Zenden because he was my player, he worked here for three years and knows the environment."

Although Benitez is only the interim manager, with a contract until the end of the season, he said his future was in his hands if he was successful. "If I do well and win trophies, I'd be really happy and then we will see," he said. "At this moment I'm here. I got the job. This is very simple: winning games. Winning games is a guarantee for everything. If you can do it in a row, you can win trophies."