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Mikel: Fans must lay off Rafa

John Obi Mikel says the negativity from Chelsea supporters towards interim manager Rafa Benitez is affecting the players.

Last Updated: 11/03/13 at 15:02 Post Comment

John Obi Mikel: Wants Chelsea fans to get behind interim boss Rafa Benitez

John Obi Mikel: Wants Chelsea fans to get behind interim boss Rafa Benitez

Benitez was again subjected to jeers from the away section during the Blues' FA Cup draw at Manchester United, which grew louder in the second half when he substituted Frank Lampard and Victor Moses for Eden Hazard and Mikel.

Those switches helped Chelsea stage a superb comeback to earn a replay, but Mikel says the barracking of Benitez is contributing to their inconsistent form.

"Sometimes it doesn't help when the fans are not happy," said the midfielder. "When you give the ball away there is pressure. This is our job.

"Fans come to watch the football and we have a responsibility to pay them back and make sure we play well. Every game we try to do that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"I have been here for seven years and they (the fans) are fantastic and have always supported us until the end. I hope that continues throughout the season.

"This is when we need them the most. Let's hope we can all go through the rest of the season together. Chelsea fans have always been great and I know they will continue to be great with the players."

Mikel hopes that Chelsea's second-half performance at Old Trafford will instil belief in the squad.

"I hope we can keep this character and momentum going but sometimes it's quite difficult when the season is going like this," he said.

"If you look at the team from last year, we liked to play, to attack, to move forward.

"We liked to have the ball, beat people and create chances and that's exactly what we did in the second half at United.

"Let's hope this game will put us back on a good track and we keep going on from here to end the season very well."

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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