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Fulham, West Ham and Reading bosses react to Rafa’s rant

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez (centre) during a training session. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez (centre) during a training session. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

Thursday, February 28, 2013
2:21 PM

Martin Jol, West Ham assistant Neil McDonald and Brian McDermott have joined the growing number of Premier League coaches to express sympathy for Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez after his outburst last night.

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The interim Chelsea boss launched a scathing attack on the club’s fans and board after his side’s 2-0 FA Cup win against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Benitez expressed his disappointment with Chelsea fans’ protests against him and also criticised the club’s hierarchy for naming him ‘interim’ manager without telling him.

Fulham boss Jol said: “I feel for any manager who is not well-liked and he wasn’t well-liked from the start so I feel for him.

“He is a professional so he will probably do his job until the end of the season.”

West Ham assistant boss McDonald can understand why Benitez should become antagonised, but he also believes supporters of any club have the right to air their grievances.

McDonald said: “He’s obviously frustrated, I suppose, in a way. You have to deal with that, don’t you? It’s always difficult coming into a football club not being the ‘manager’.

“He hasn’t had the results he probably wanted but at the same time he’s trying to do his best. That’s all you can do as a manager.

“Sympathy... we’re all in the same situation. If we don’t get the results we’re under pressure and if the team’s not playing as well as what it has done in the past, then the crowd have got every right to voice their opinions and that’s what he’s had to deal with at the moment.”

Reading manager McDermott, meanwhile, understands Benitez’s frustration at being given the ‘interim’ title, having experienced a similar situation himself.

He said: “That is the title that the job was given. When I got the job here in the first place I was caretaker manager. It was called caretaker then until I got the job as the manager. That is kind of how it is.

“The title was ‘interim manager’ and I understand that that title doesn’t look to be a permanent title, I would suggest, so I can see from Rafa’s point of view that wouldn’t be the title he would have wanted.”

Regarding the constant jeering Benitez has had to endure during his Stamford Bridge reign, McDermott added: “It isn’t pleasant but that is how it is. That is football, and fans want to see teams that are winning.”

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