Rafael Benitez vowed not to throw in the towel at Chelsea after revealing his anger at his players’ limp surrender at West Ham.
Benitez admitted after Saturday’s 3-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Upton Park that he was “not 100% sure” his position was secure just 11 days and three matches into what has been a nightmare start to life at Stamford Bridge.
But he insisted he would not be driven out of the club amid growing unrest, with some supporters furious at the appointment of the former Liverpool boss as interim manager.
Asked whether he would ever consider walking away from the abuse, jeers and protest banners that are bound to be in evidence again in Wednesday’s Champions League game at
Nordsjaelland, Benitez said: “No. When I decided to come, I knew it was a challenge.”
Pressed on whether the fans could do anything to make him quit, he added: “We have to win games, and everyone will be happier.”
Ultimately, the only supporter Benitez really needs to make happy is billionaire Blues owner Roman Abramovich, who fans appealed to directly yesterday with a chant of “Roman Abramovich, is this what you want?”
And while the Russian has so far ignored the backlash against Benitez’s appointment, he surely cannot ignore the damning statistics.
Benitez is the first Chelsea boss not to win one of his first three games in charge under Abramovich, the first not to witness a goal in his first two, the first to lose to West Ham, seven points dropped and a top-four place now under threat – never mind the title itself.
And although not in charge for all seven games, the statistics also amount to the Blues’ longest winless run in the league for 17 years, their lowest points tally after 15 matches since Abramovich bought the club, and now a 10-point gap to leaders Manchester United.