Rafael Benitez says keeping the Chelsea players, not fans, is his only concern
Chelsea have suffered from inconsistency since Benitez took over
Wednesday 30 January 2013
Interim manager Rafael Benitez has revealed his only concern at Chelsea is keeping his players happy.
Benitez's appointment at Stamford Bridge has not been popular with sections of Blues fans, with an online petition calling for him not to be considered for the job full-time passing the 2,500 signatures it originally targeted.
Former Liverpool manager Benitez refused to be drawn on that, but when asked yesterday whether he felt he would forever be judged on his past, he said: "If I can see my players in training without conviction, I will be worried.
"Today, I was talking with one or two senior players, explaining and agreeing the way we are doing things is right or if we have to change this or that. We are working with the players every day, and they're happy.
"We cannot control the perception from outside, but I can influence the players, explain things and analyse things."
Benitez also revealed ahead of tonight's Premier League game at Reading that he had even gone as far as to consult his players on team selection and tactics.
He said: "Not always, but sometimes. I have an experienced staff, too. But the feedback from the players is important.
"I talk with them, that's my way. Some managers like to be seen in the press, 'man-management' with arms on the shoulders.
"I talk to the players every day. I talk with the injured players in the physio room, with the players in training, or with senior players; why this, why that, and what we need to improve and what the game plan will be."
More than one senior player has publicly backed Benitez since he took charge, although a ringing endorsement from captain John Terry and vice-captain Frank Lampard may help quell any supporter revolt.
Benitez said: "It's not just to help me. We have to win together. It's important for the team to have everyone behind us.
"If we're winning, it'll be easier. If not, we'll need to have everyone pushing in the right direction. John, Frank, Ashley [Cole], [Fernando] Torres, [David] Luiz... they're all trying to do their best.
"Everyone, in his own way, is trying to do his best."
That did not look the case in the first half of Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round draw at Brentford, but Benitez insisted he would never read the riot act to his players.
"No, I treat them with respect, as professionals," he said. "They're players, people, and I treat them normally."
NFL fans were so loud during a match that their celebrations registered as a minor earthquake
Tyre firm aimed to show how their tyres would perform in ‘unexpected’ conditions
filmAs she returns to musicals in Black Nativity, the Oscar winner opens up about coming back from tragedy
TelevisionThe enduring fascination with the life of the aristocrat fugitive continues in an ITV drama. We hear from its stars
Latest in Sport
Arsenal v Hull: Arsene Wenger ignores the sceptics and tells Gunners to seize Premier League title chance
Jose Mourinho believes Manchester City, not Arsenal, offer greatest challenge to Chelsea title hopes
Premier League: Arsenal beware - this is the tightest season in 11 years
Manchester United v Everton: David Moyes keeps lid on emotions ahead of Everton's visit to Old Trafford
Arsenal v Hull: Bacary Sagna ruled out with hamstring injury while Arsene Wenger denies Alvaro Morata agreement
- 1 John Williams' Stoner wins Waterstones Book of the Year
- 2 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
- 5 I’m sure Kate Moss doesn't care about posing for Playboy. But I do