Chelsea’s new coach Rafael Benitez endured loud jeers and chants such as “F*** off Benitez, you’re not wanted here” from Blues fans still angry with owner Roman Abramovich’s decision to fire former coach Roberto Di Matteo and replace him with Benitez, who spent six years in charge of rival Liverpool FC, during the Spaniard’s opening game in charge of Chelsea against Manchester City on Sunday.
After the game, Benitez admitted that it would take time and some good results to win over the fans. "The good thing is I don't understand what people were singing,” he said. “I'm just focused on the game. I want to change the perception. How? By working hard, doing my best and winning games.”
He added: "I can understand it because of the rivalry in the past [with Benítez's Liverpool side from 2004-10], and we cannot judge the supporters. We have to respect them. But I'm sure the majority of the fans will understand. I'm a professional. I will do my job and I want to win, and I want to win for this club.”
Di Matteo guided Chelsea to UEFA Champions League and English FA Cup crowns last season.