'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
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.