Real Betis
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Hamburg SV
Eintracht Frankfurt
6:30 PM UTC
Game Details
AS Monaco
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Burton Albion
Birmingham City
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details

Manager Watch: Mourinho vs. Guardiola

Manager Watch

MLS Forecaster: 2016 Playoff projections

Major League Soccer

Benitez stands by angry remarks

Chelsea's interim manager Rafa Benitez has defended the comments he made in the wake of his side's 2-0 FA Cup victory at Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

Following that win at the Riverside Stadium, an angry Benitez hit out at some of the club's fans, accusing them of "not helping the team" and also said making his job title interim manager had been "a massive mistake".

Although he confirmed he would leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, his comments led to speculation that he would not be in charge for Saturday's game at home to West Bromwich Albion.

But after Chelsea said on Thursday that it was business as usual, Benitez told reporters: "If you analyse carefully what I said, what I was trying to explain is that we have 11 games to play. That means 33 points.

"So I felt that, if we stick together behind the team, it will be easy for us to get points.

"It is a big difference when you have everybody behind the team, pushing and pushing. That was my idea. The message is clear."

He again insisted his relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy and the club's players was good, stressing: "I didn't have any problem with the board, I didn't have any problem with [technical director] Michael Emenalo, I didn't have any problem with [club owner] Roman Abramovich. I don't have any problems with the players.

"So what I want to do is the best for the team, the best for the club."

Asked whether his comments had made his difficult situation at Stamford Bridge - where he replaced the controversially-sacked Roberto Di Matteo - worse, he said: "I am trying to say that if we stick behind the team, all together, everyone will be much better.

"The players will perform much better, we can win more points and everyone can be happier at the end of the season."

And when a reporter asked him whether he had spoken to Abramovich since Wednesday night, he said only: "This is my business."


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.