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Benitez turns a deaf ear to the Chelsea chanting
10:07am Monday 26th November 2012 in Sport
RAFAEL BENITEZ agreed with Roberto Mancini that he needed to ‘‘win, win, win, win, win, win, win’’ to avoid a repeat of the nightmare welcome he was given as Chelsea manager after yesterday’s goalless draw with Manchester City.
Interim boss Benitez vowed to turn the jeers into cheers having been subjected to the most vitriolic reception imaginable at Stamford Bridge for his first match in charge.
Opposite number Mancini claimed the only way for former Liverpool manager Benitez to win over his new club’s supporters was to start winning on the pitch.
‘‘Win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win every game – only the results can help,’’ Mancini said.
Benitez said: ‘‘It’s not a secret.
It’s true.’’ Spaniard Benitez claimed to have not understood expletive- laden chants which included the words: ‘‘You’re not welcome here.’’ ‘‘I was asking: ‘What were they singing?’’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t care. I’m just focused on the game.’’ When informed what fans had chanted, Benitez admitted he was not surprised following some of the questions at his unveiling on Thursday.
‘‘It was a surprise for you after the other day?’’ And the banners, which read: ‘Rafa out’?
He said: ‘‘How many people do you need to write a banner?
Just one. Then two holding it.
‘‘If we start winning games, they will come on board and they will see I’ll try to do my best.’’ He added: ‘‘The main things is that the players are focused on the games. If they are, it’ll be fine. I have confidence we will do well and win games.
‘‘Some of the fans will realise it’s not the way to support their team.’’ Owner Roman Abramovich is the only fan that really matters at Chelsea and Benitez confirmed the pair had spoken afterwards.
‘‘He knows it was a tough game, a difficult time after the last games,’’ said Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo after a run of two wins in eight.
‘‘He’s like me. He knows we have to win, want to win, and we keep working for that.’’ Chelsea legend Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris has described Dave Sexton as the best coach he worked with following the former Blues manager’s death at the age of 82.
Sexton took over at Stamford Bridge from Tommy Docherty in 1967 and led Chelsea to a first FA Cup title in 1970 and a maiden European trophy the following season with victory over Real Madrid in the Cup Winners’ Cup final.
Sexton went on to manage Manchester United, again succeeding Docherty, while he also took QPR to within a point of a first top-flight title before spending much of his later career with the FA.
Harris, who played nearly 800 games for the Blues in the 1960s and 70s, said: ‘‘It’s a sad day, especially for the players that played under him. He used to spend hours on the training field. He was the best coach I ever worked with. I’ve got some great memories.
The FA’s director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking, said: ‘‘In the last 30- 40 years Dave’s name was up there with any of the top coaches we have produced in England.’’