MIDDLESBROUGH 0 vs CHELSEA 2
CHELSEA boss Rafael Benitez plunged his immediate future at Stamford Bridge into doubt last night, after launching an astonishing attack on the club’s fans and board, believing the supporters hold an unhelpful agenda against him and that holding the title of interim manager is a massive mistake.
Benitez, whose team’s FA Cup victory at the Riverside Stadium sets up a quarter-final tie at Manchester United, snapped after the game telling supporters to lay off him or face seeing their team play in the Europa League next season.
The 52-year-old went on to confirm he will leave his post at the end of the season and implied he was undermined by the board from the beginning, having been given an interim role after succeeding Roberto Di Matteo in November.
“They gave me the title of interim manager, which is a massive mistake,” he fumed, before laying into those that have continually barracked him during his spell as boss.
“I’m a bit disappointed with a group of our fans who were singing. They have to support the team, we can’t achieve our target of being in the Champions League if they continue singing and talking.
“They must get behind the team or they will be in the Europa League next season.
“They are wasting time doing banners and singing songs. They don’t have to worry about me I will leave at the end of the season.”
Since Benitez took over at Stamford Bridge Chelsea have slipped down the Premier League table, lost in the World Club Cup final and the Capital One Cup semi-final.
But second-half goals from forwards Fernando Torres and Victor Moses downed Boro and kept the Blues in the hunt to lift the FA Cup for a fifth time in seven seasons.
And Benitez is puzzled by those that question his managerial CV.
“I’m experienced. I’ve won the Champions League, the Spanish League twice and the FA Cup,” he added. “I am a professional and will do my best to win every single game until the end.”