Rafael Benitez tonight told any Chelsea supporters so opposed to him that they want the team to lose that they are not "proper fans".
Interim manager Benitez has had good away results but struggled at home, with much of the Stamford Bridge crowd vehemently against him. "All of the fans want to win," Benitez said. "Some of them maybe will show more or less passion. But every proper fan will want their team to win."
Tomorrow Chelsea host Southampton in the Premier League, in the type of game they have struggled with recently. Benitez, though, would not accept anxiety as an explanation.
"No, I don't think [it is anxiety]," Benitez said. "The main thing is the attitude of the other teams. In the last two games, they were very, very deep. We had to create chances but not with too much space. It was pushing and pushing. They weren't counter-attacks at pace, situations you have away from home."
The last home game, a 2-0 Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to Swansea City, was marked by abuse for Benitez, the striker Fernando Torres and the club chairman, Bruce Buck, but Benitez said the mood was good and the team had improved under him.
"We have a lot of positivity," Benitez said. "You see the stats, the numbers, the team creating chances and keeping clean sheets. A lot of positive signals. My job is to concentrate on these positive things. That's the way to go forward.
"When I came, the team were conceding every game, but now we're conceding half as many and scoring more than anyone."
Both Torres and Demba Ba are fit after a stomach bug and a hamstring strain respectively. John Terry could make his first start since November.Reuse content