Rafael Benitez says he will win over Chelsea fans

Rafael Benitez insists he will silence the hostility from Chelsea’s fans after he received an angry welcome before and during his first game in charge. New manager Benitez was defiant last night that he will win the supporters over.

The former Liverpool manager was loudly booed before and during the goalless draw with Manchester City. Chelsea fans sang songs such as “F*** off Benitez, you’re not welcome here”. Roberto Di Matteo’s name was sung throughout.

Benitez said “When fans are singing for me or against me I don’t care. I want to change the perception,”.

“How will I do it? By working hard, doing my best and winning games.”

Benitez insisted that he was “not listening” to the fans. “My experience in England is that when the fans are singing in the stands, I don’t understand what they say,” he said. “So I was just concentrating. I can understand because of the rivalry in the past. But I’m sure the majority of the fans will understand: I’m a professional, I do my job, I want to win, and I want to win for the club. I hope they share those ideas.

Benitez is certain he will reverse the opinion of Chelsea’s supporters, who also chanted their support for Roberto Di Matteo, who was dismissed by owner Roman Abramovich only six months after winning the FA Cup and Champions League.

Benitez brushed off banners reading “Rafa Out”, by saying: “How many people do you need to write a banner? Maybe one and two to hold it up.

When Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was asked what Benitez needed to do to win over the fans, his answer was clear: “Win, win, win, win, win, win, win. Win every game. Only the results can help, I think so.”

Benitez agreed with Mancini saying “If we start winning games they will come on board and they will see that I will try to do my best for them. I have confidence we will win games and some of the fans will realise it is not the way to support your team.

“They will say ‘we have a professional’ and I will keep working hard and doing my job properly.”

But he said: “The fans are there, they support their team and we have to respect them.”

Benitez spoke with Abramovich after the game. He said: “It has been a difficult time because of the last games.

“He knows my opinion and at the moment he will be thinking like me. We have to win, we want to win and like the fans we want to win together.”