|BENITEZ INSISTS HE IS STAYING AT CHELSEA FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON
SportingPreview.com: 28 February 2013
Rafael Benitez insists he is staying at Chelsea for the rest of the season, despite appearing to be heading for the axe after his extraordinary attack on the club's fans and owner Roman Abramovich.
Benitez, who took charge in November after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked, let rip after the FA Cup win at Middlesbrough on Wednesday night but in an interview with the BBC's Dan Walker ahead of Football Focus at the weekend, Benitez said he has an "excellent" relationship with Abramovich and that he will be at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season.
According to pretty much every football pundit and the majorty of UK bookies, the former Liverpool boss, who earned notoriety for a blast aimed at Sir Alex Ferguson while in charge at Anfield, and who was sacked by Inter Milan for a similar outburst, was unlikely to be in charge for the Old Trafford clash on Sunday week.
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Benitez risked the sack after his passionate rant but the club insisted earlier today that it was just another normal day.
The manager and his players reported to their Cobham training base as usual for a routine light session and sports massage to get last night's match out of their legs.
Chelsea have no mention of Benitez's rant on their official website despite it dominating today's sports coverage.
According to Sportsmail a Chelsea spokesman said: "It's business as usual" and claimed the under-fire boss is expected to be in charge for Saturday's Premier League clash with West Brom.
Benitez can expect a hostile reception at the weekend, having finally turned on the fans who have booed him since day one. You can watch a video of the mega-rant by clicking here.
The comments were broadcast in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live and in his press conference after Chelsea beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium.
This is the first time Benitez has been openly critical and contemptuous of the supporters and the club.
Supporters' reactions across social networking sites were a mixture of anger and delight - many were furious at the unprofessionalism of his scathing comments while others heralded this as the penultimate day of his tenure at Chelsea.
If he does survive long enough to face West Brom on Saturday, he can be sure supporters at Stamford Bridge will be more willing than ever to vocalise their feelings about him.
Chelsea's two previous managers, Roberto Di Matteo and Andre Villas Boas, were both fired after games against Albion. Benitez could be fired before.
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