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Football: Let's stick together, Benitez tells Chelsea fans

Rafael Benitez, the under-pressure Chelsea interim manager, urged all connected with the club to unite Friday as he tried to get irate fans onside. Benitez has faced renewed calls for his dismissal after he launched an astonishing attack on the club's supporters and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy following Chelsea's 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday. "What I said is we have 11 games to play, 33 points (to play for), we must stick together and get behind the team," Benitez told a Friday news conference.

Football: Chelsea pressure takes its toll on Benitez

As Rafael Benitez's angry outburst succinctly demonstrated, the manager's job at Chelsea has become the most uniquely pressurised position in English football. Booed and barracked from day one, Benitez was able to maintain a diplomatic silence for just three months before the pressure told. Speaking after his side's 2-0 win at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Wednesday, he let rip at the club's fans for their protests against him and even rebuked the Chelsea management for appointing him on only an 'interim' basis.

UPDATE 1-Soccer-My relationship with Abramovich is very good - Benitez

(Adds background) LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Chelsea's beleaguered interim manager Rafael Benitez still enjoys a "very good" relationship with the club's owner Roman Abramovich, he told the BBC in an interview on Thursday. The Spaniard's comments came the day after he criticised the Chelsea board for appointing him only on an interim basis following the sacking of Roberto di Matteo in November.

Football: I won't be forced out, vows under-fire Benitez

Under-fire Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez insists there is no chance he will be forced out before his contract expires at the end of this season. Benitez has faced renewed calls for his dismissal after he launched an astonishing attack on the club's fans and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy following his side's 2-0 win at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday.

Football: 'Business as usual' for Chelsea after Rafa blast

Chelsea insisted Thursday would be just another day at the office despite interim manager Rafael Benitez hitting out at the club's fans and management the day before. Benitez launched a broadside following his side's 2-0 win at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday, criticising fans for protesting against him and questioning why he was only appointed on a temporary basis. His outburst sparked speculation on social media that his position was in immediate danger, but a spokesperson for the club said: "It's business as usual."

Soccer-Benitez gets little sympathy from former Chelsea players

By Mike Collett LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Former Chelsea players showed little sympathy for interim boss Rafael Benitez who said on Wednesday he was leaving the club at the end of the season and criticised the club's board and fans. Instead, they rallied round their old club with former defender Jason Cundy saying Benitez had orchestrated his own downfall at Stamford Bridge by failing to adopt an attractive brand of football which would have won over the fans.

Soccer-Benitez risks talking himself out of another job

By Mark Meadows LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Rafael Benitez is well-known for his "Rafa rants" and his latest tirade against employers Chelsea could further damage his reputation and chances of finding another job. His blast after Wednesday's FA Cup fifth round win at second tier Middlesbrough has already led to media speculation that he will be asked to leave earlier than the end of the season when his short-term deal runs out.

Football: Angry Benitez blasts Chelsea fans, confirms exit

Interim manager Rafael Benitez's patience with the Chelsea fans finally snapped on Wednesday as he confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season. Benitez has been targeted by sections of the club's support ever since he was appointed as the successor to Roberto Di Matteo last November. Chelsea beat Middlesbrough 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals and they are also in the last 16 of the Europa League, but they have slipped to fourth place in the Premier League.

FACTBOX-Soccer-Chelsea interim coach Rafael Benitez

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Factbox on Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez, who confirmed on Wednesday he was leaving the club at the end of the season. He is unhappy with the actions of the board and the fans. * Born in Madrid, April 16, 1960. * After a knee injury forces him into premature retirement ending a modest playing career, Spaniard Benitez begins coaching in the Real Madrid youth section. * From 1993 to 2001 he coaches Real Madrid B, Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura and Tenerife.

Football: Angry Benitez blasts Chelsea fans, confirms exit

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez's patience with the club's fans finally snapped on Wednesday as he confirmed his intention to leave the club at the end of the season. Benitez has been targeted by sections of the club's support ever since he was appointed as the successor to Roberto Di Matteo last November. Chelsea beat Middlesbrough 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals and they are also in the last 16 of the Europa League, but they have slipped to fourth place in the Premier League.
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