Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

We must improve on pitch - Benitez

Rafael Benitez insists Chelsea need to raise their game
Rafael Benitez insists Chelsea need to raise their game

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez admitted he is "not 100 per cent" sure his position was secure after his nightmare start to life at the club continued with a 3-1 defeat at West Ham.

Already the first manager of the Roman Abramovich era not to oversee a victory in his opening two games under the Russian, it got worse for Benitez at Upton Park as Chelsea made it seven Barclays Premier League games without maximum points.

Asked if he feared he would not last very long at Stamford Bridge, Benitez - whose contract is until the end of the season - said: "I would say that it depends on the things that we can do on the pitch. So, if we improve on the pitch, it will be easier for everyone."

Pressed on the fact he did not sound 100 per cent sure of his position, he replied: "No, I am not 100 per cent. We didn't win today - that is the main thing."

Disgruntled supporters piled on the misery for the former Liverpool manager, continuing the expletive-laden chants of "You're not welcome here" that have plagued his short reign, while he was also taunted - seemingly by home fans - with "You're getting sacked in the morning".

At any other club, it would be absurd to ask questions about the manager's position after just three matches but it has become impossible to tell at Chelsea just when owner Abramovich might pull the trigger if he decides things are going so badly awry.

There is no love lost between Benitez and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, who said: "We don't have sympathy for each other. We compete against each other, toil, play mind games and tactically have to outweigh each other. And we've come out on top today."

Allardyce suggested Benitez was in a Catch 22 situation.

"You can't do it if the fans aren't behind you," he said.

"But the only way you can get the fans behind you is to win. If you're winning, the fans will always, always be behind you."

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre