Chelsea must give Rafael Benitez time warns Tony Pulis

Manager felt Chelse fans' wrath during defeat to Swansea

Stoke manager Tony Pulis feels Chelsea must give interim boss Rafael Benitez time to get things right at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez has had a mixed time of it so far since taking over from the sacked Roberto Di Matteo in November, with a remit to carry out the job until the end of the season.

Under the Spaniard, Chelsea have recorded several high-scoring victories but he was unable to prevent them from crashing out of the Champions League. They were beaten in the final of the Club World Cup and yesterday they suffered a 2-0 home defeat in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final against Swansea - a week after losing 1-0 at home to strugglers QPR in the Barclays Premier League.

The appointment of former Liverpool boss Benitez was met at the time by discontent among some Blues fans and, as has been the case at several games since then, he endured a torrent of abuse from a section of the crowd last night.

Pulis was at the Swansea match ahead of his 10th-placed side's league clash with fourth-placed Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, and the Welshman has emphasised how important it is for managers to be given a decent chance to prove themselves at a club.

Regarding the animosity towards Benitez, Pulis - who has spent 10 years as Stoke boss, aside from a brief stint at Plymouth in 2005-06 - said: "I had it here when I came back after the spell away.

"You have to grind it out and get through it. You have to get results and that is what Rafa will have to do.

"If he gets results and he gets lucky, then he has a fantastic football club to build.

"He has proved before at football clubs that he can manage at the highest level.

"Given the chance, who is to say he couldn't do it at Chelsea?

"But he needs the opportunity, and that does not mean weeks or months - you have got to give people time."

Meanwhile, Pulis has stressed he wants to see Michael Owen remain with Stoke for the remainder of the campaign.

Former England striker Owen's first-team playing time for the Potters since joining them in the summer has been restricted to four substitute appearances and then a start in last weekend's 0-0 FA Cup third-round draw at Crystal Palace, where he struggled to make an impact before being substituted in the 53rd minute.

Reports have linked the 33-year-old with a January transfer window switch to Perth Glory, whose coach Ian Ferguson has ruled out the prospect of a move but said the Australian outfit had been contacted by "an agent" to see if they were interested in Owen and that the matter was "discussed at a good level".

Asked about that this morning, Pulis said: "Is it true, is it not true? You just don't know.

"I read a story yesterday in the papers that (Manchester United striker) Danny Welbeck was available.

"Ask (United manager) Sir Alex Ferguson what he thinks about that. You have to deal with it.

"Michael has got a contract until the end of the season and as far as I'm concerned, he has not come in and said he wants to change it.

"We haven't pulled Michael in and said we want to change that. So Michael will be part of the football club hopefully until the end of the season."

There has also been talk of another Stoke frontman, Kenwyne Jones, being targeted by Swansea.

Questioned about that, Pulis - who reiterated that he is looking to bring players in during the current window - said: "There is Kenwyne, there has been interest from other clubs in other players.

"There is loads of stuff going on - it is the silly season. So we will let the silly season run and we will decide what is right for the football club and the players.

"We always take everything into consideration at this football club, and if it is right for the players and the football club, we will do business. If not, then we'll get on with things."

One confirmed departure from Stoke is midfielder Michael Tonge, who has joined Leeds on a permanent deal following a loan spell with the npower Championship side.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue