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¹ Ǣ: Rafa Benitez: Chelsea turning point and why Newcastle still  (ҹ 28 )

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Ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge, Rafa Benitez reflects upon a challenging, but ultimately successful six-month spell in charge at Chelsea
Ahead of Chelsea v Newcastle, live on Sky Sports Premier League, Rafa Benitez discusses his memories of his short spell at Stamford Bridge, the challenges he faced, and the "belief" he has in his current team...

"Rafa Out!", "We're Just Not That Int-er-im" and "In Rafa We Will Never Trust" were just some of the banners with which Chelsea fans greeted Rafa Benitez when he was controversially appointed as interim manager at Stamford Bridge in November 2012.

Ahead of today's return visit to Chelsea - his first since leaving the club - the Newcastle manager reflects upon a challenging, but ultimately successful six-month spell in charge and the challenge that lies ahead with his current club this season.
"I have very good memories, it was a good time for us," he says of his time at Chelsea. "It was a challenge for me, an opportunity to go back to the Premier League with a top side and to try to achieve something, to win something."

In a pursuit of success on sbobet ninja four separate fronts both domestically and in Europe, Benitez had to manage a heavy fixture list. Chelsea would play nearly 70 games that season in all competitions."I remember before one game Demba Ba was a little bit tired and I didn't want to play him," he recalls. "I had to play Fernando Torres because he was fresh. But then I had to bring on Demba Ba for the last 10 minutes and he scored a great goal. The fans said 'why didn't you play Demba Ba before?' So you have to manage the tiredness of your players. It was quite difficult because you still have to win every game."

Some Chelsea fans  had refused to accept the former Liverpool manager from the start. They saw him as an architect of the deep-rooted rivalry that had developed between the two clubs during the previous decade.

When Benitez was brought in to sbobet replace Roberto Di Matteo - a Stamford Bridge legend - supporters made their feelings known. Throughout his first game in charge, at home to Manchester City, he was subjected to a barrage of ill-feeling.



Benitez won the Europa League with Chelsea
A £300m bid headed up by the financier Amanda Staveley to buy Newcastle is currently on the table. Benitez accepts that there are no guarantees that money to strengthen the squad will be forthcoming. But he's convinced that the team already has the quality to hold their own at this level.

"The difference between the top six and the others - you can see in some games that it's big, quite big," he says. "But if we do things right and we keep working the same way we can compete against the other teams and when you compete you have more chances to win." sbobet


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