Benitez expects to stay at Chelsea until May

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez does not believe he will be sacked by the Premier League club after lashing out at the critical section of the club’s fans and criticising the board for giving him the title of interim manager, BBC Sport has reported.

Benitez conducted an interview with the BBC’s Football Focus programme in which he flat out denied he would leave the Champions League winners before the end of the season, and insisted he retained a strong relationship with the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich.

My relationship with Roman is very good,” Benitez said. He added: “They know how we work and what we are trying to do. The players are really happy in what we are trying to do. Sometimes you win, sometimes you cannot.

The atmosphere in the club is really good. There are no issues in the team. In terms of what we do, the players are fully behind the methods. If we stick together and support the players, we will be able to win games. Then at the end of the season I will leave and then they can criticise.

Benitez was appointed to replace Roberto Di Matteo in November 2012 but was never a popular choice among the Chelsea faithful, with anti-Benitez or pro-Di Matteo banners and songs present at every Chelsea match since.

Following Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Wednesday, Benitez complained of the continued negative reaction towards him and of the title of interim manager, calling it a “massive mistake”.

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