Chelsea's Cech: 'I think the manager deserves to have a chance'

Petr Cech was asked about the recent situation at the club, with Rafa Benitez being booed at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, after becoming the new interim manager even though he has ridiculed Chelsea FC and their fans in the past.

Chelsea fans were already unhappy at the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, when Roman Abramovich hired Rafa on a temporary basis until the summer, and that only stoked the fire.

Cech claimed that it was down to the players to change the fans minds on the manager, saying: “I wasn’t listening to the crowd much, when I go on the pitch I’m in my zone. We know there’s a history but he’s come here to improve the situation at the club, and to help. He can only do that by getting good results. Let’s hope that’s going to be the case.

“It’s up to us. We need to have a good run of results for them to change their minds. I think the manager deserves to have a chance, as every manager has who has joined the club. It’s up to us to make things happen and make the fans happy.

“When you come to a situation where you change your manager it’s because the situation is bad, and that everybody is to blame, everybody is responsible for the results. As players, we feel the responsibility because we are responsible for the manager leaving. We want to put things right. We want to do the right things for the new manager.

“If the team is performing nothing happens to the manager. So everybody knows that the last few results were not good. Unfortunately the manager got changed, but we all know we have to play better.

“You are here to play, to do what the club and the manager wants you to do. If you don’t like it, you can leave. I’m here to play, I want to play, so I do everything I can straight away to make sure the manager has no option but to pick me and put me in the team. It’s the way I work, and it works for everybody because if you stay sad you will end up on the bench even more disappointed. You need to do the right things all the time.

“I was his captain,” Cech added. “We were talking after the game and he wished me good luck. I was disappointed at the way it all ended but as a player you have to switch on and do your best for the team.

“In football everything can go really fast in a good way or a bad way. Unfortunately when the bad way happens the consequences are not nice sometimes and the supporters are disappointed. But it’s the way it is.”

The chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group has said an apology from Benítez for his comments about Chelsea fans would help the situation. Rafael Benítez, while manager of Liverpool, appeared to criticise Chelsea supporters by saying they needed plastic flags to get behind their team.

“I think an apology would help for some fans,” Trizia Fiorellino said. “Even an acceptance of what was said would be a start.

“He’s said he was trying to defend his club at the time but the then Chelsea manager José Mourinho was the master of that and I don’t think he ever directly ridiculed supporters of another club.

“It’s quite a thing to try to undo but an acceptance could definitely bring some people back on board. I do think he’s a tough sell, though.”

It is going to take some time to get the fans behind Benitez, but I can’t think of a situation where someone this hated by a club has been put in charge. I would love to believe there will be a happy ending in this for all of us, but the only happy ending in mind right now is when he is gone!

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