Following Chelsea’s comfortable 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough, which sealed a last-eight tie with Manchester United, manager Rafael Benitez reacted angrily to the club’s supporters, who once again voiced their displeasure at his tenure.
For the first time since his appointment as ‘interim manager’, Benitez also confirmed that he will not be at the club next season.
In an explosive post-match press conference, Benitez finally lost his patience with the fans, claiming that their protests were having a negative impact upon the team.
"I'm disappointed with some fans. They have to support the team instead of wasting time making banners,” he said.
"If not then next year they can carry on singing but we will be in the Europa League so they have to realise that they are not making any favour - to the rest of the fans and also to the players."
Benitez also publicised that he is to leave at the end of the season, in a revelation that will no doubt be welcomed amongst the majority of the Chelsea faithful.
“At the end of the season I will leave. They don't have to worry about me," added Benitez.
The Spaniard also took a shot at the Chelsea board by suggesting that they made “a massive mistake” naming him ‘interim manager’.
It was an outburst fuelled by months of bottled up frustration at the endless chanting and banner waving, which began back in November at his first game in charge against Manchester City.
And, whilst his effort and meticulous preparation cannot be brought into question, Chelsea’s recent run of results have been poor for a club with ambitions to bring the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge.
Perhaps, if Benitez had won the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, defeated Swansea in the Capital One Cup or kept within touching distance of both Manchester clubs, as he was when he took over from Roberto Di Matteo, then the attitude of the club’s supporters might have been different. Or maybe the cause for the Chelsea’s failure to win a trophy this season has been down to the fans’ inability to accept Benitez’s appointment, creating an acid environment at Stamford Bridge.
Either way, Benitez is set to depart at the end of the season which will bring an end to one of the least popular managerial appointments of recent times.
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