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Nov 25, 2012

Benitez: I don't listen to the crowd

New Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez insisted after the 0-0 draw with Manchester City that he did not pay attention to the crowd's negative reaction to him.

• Brewin: Chelsea cauldron greets Rafa
• Blog: Positives after tough week

Former Liverpool boss Benitez, in charge for his first game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, was the subject of abuse from the home fans with boos and many signs expressing their displeasure at his appointment in focus throughout the match.

However the Spaniard insisted, perhaps with his tongue in his cheek, that he did not hear any of the complaints.

"I am focused on the game, I don't listen to the crowd," he said. "The main thing was the team on the pitch. I was not listening, I was just concentrating on the game.

"It was a tough game against a good team, no clear chances for them or us. It's not the ideal (result) but to have a clean sheet and to see the spirit and mentality and work rate was quite positive.

"You could see they were trying really hard with and without the ball and against a great team they had some chances.''

When informed exactly what fans had chanted, Benitez admitted he was not surprised following some of the questions at his unveiling on Thursday, saying: "It was a surprise for you after the other day?''

And the banners, which read: 'Rafa out'?

He said: "How many people do you need to write a banner? Just one. Then two holding it. If we start winning games, they will come on board and they will see I'll try to do my best.''

He added: "The main thing is that the players are focused on the games. If they are, it'll be fine. I have confidence we will do well and win games. Some of the fans will realise it's not the way to support their team.''

Owner Roman Abramovich is the only fan that really matters at Chelsea and Benitez confirmed the pair had spoken afterwards.

"He knows it was a tough game, a difficult time after the last games,'' said Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo after a run of two wins in eight. "He's like me. He knows we have to win, want to win, and we keep working for that.''

Abramovich would not have been impressed with just one shot on target from a side he desperately wants to be entertained by, or by the lack of impact from Fernando Torres.

Benitez said: "You could see he was trying very hard. The team has to help Fernando and create more chances, and he will score goals. You cannot expect a striker scoring just on his own, so we have to create more and better chances for him with the players we have.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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