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Gourlay: Top four finish key

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay insists they will go all out to secure Champions League qualification next season before making a decision on their next permanent manager.

Last Updated: 06/03/13 at 14:16 Post Comment

Ron Gourlay: Return to Champions League top priority

Ron Gourlay: Return to Champions League top priority

The club currently occupy the fourth and final qualifying spot in the Premier League and are five points ahead of Arsenal.

But the recent furore over the role of interim manager Rafa Benitez and the Spaniard's anger at being given the title has caused unease, with Chelsea winning two and losing two of their last four matches in the Premier League.

An uneasy truce has now been struck though, with Benitez confirming he will not look to stay on at the end of his current tenure in a bid to appease disgruntled fans and get them united behind the team.

Gourlay confirmed Chelsea would sit down in the summer and assess the situation as they look to regain their place in European football's premier club competition.

"Achieving one of the Champions League qualification slots is very important to this football club," Gourlay told the club's official website.

"Our whole philosophy is based on success on the football field and we have been doing everything in our power to ensure one of these slots. We want to be pitting ourselves against the top clubs in Europe next season.

"We said from day one that Rafa was coming in as interim manager to the end of the season.

"It is important that we remain focused on the job in hand which is qualifying for the Champions League and then at the end of the season we will sit down, have a look at the situation and we will determine how we go forward."

Gourlay is in Kuala Lumpur as final preparations are made ahead of the club's three-match summer tour of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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