'I'll try my best to win their trust. That's it': Rafael Benitez refuses to apologise to Chelsea fans
Benitez prepares to take on Fulham, and supporters of his own club
Rafael Benitez has refused to apologise to Chelsea fans for comments he made while in charge of Liverpool.
The west-London club's interim manager received an incredibly hostile reception on Sunday when he took charge of his first game, a 0-0 draw with Manchester City.
When he was introduced at Stamford Bridge he was greeted by boos, while throughout the match he was heckled and the name of his predecessor, Roberto Di Matteo, was chanted.
The hostility towards the Spaniard stems from his time in charge of Liverpool, a period which saw an intense rivalry between his former and current club emerge.
The chair of Chelsea Supporters' Group called on Benitez to apologise for his conduct towards the Blues, but Benitez, speaking ahead of tomorrow's match against local rivals Fulham, questioned the accuracy of some of the quotes attributed to him.
"The problem is we can analyse what I said and didn't say," he said.
"We can't be checking if it's true or not. I'll try my best to win their trust. That's it."
One comment that is beyond dispute is Benitez's praise of the passion of Liverpool fans, which included a sideways dig at that of Chelsea supporters.
The quote has been immortalised at the Reds' Melwood training ground and pressed on whether he would apologise for it, he said: "I was praising the fans of my club, my team.
"But I'm here now, it's my club, and I will do my best for them.
"That's my explanation, very easy and very simple.
"I will try to defend my club, and this is now my club."
Benitez can expect little let up from Chelsea fans when Fulham visit tomorrow, a game his opposite number Martin Jol has described as "must-win" for the Blues.
Latest in Sport
Australian Open 2015: Serena Williams vs Dominika Cibulkova match preview
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic encounter with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Juan Cuadrado battle; Douglas Costa wants move; Paul Pogba possible
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Does the path to true love really lie in these 36 questions?
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes