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Gourlay: Top four the priority

Ron Gourlay says Chelsea's focus remains on securing a top-four spot before making a permanent managerial appointment.

Last Updated: 06/03/13 at 09:25 Post Comment

Rafael Benitez: Only in interim control

Rafael Benitez: Only in interim control

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has reiterated the club's focus remains on securing Champions League football next term before a permanent managerial appointment is made.

Rafael Benitez, whose side take on Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League on Thursday night, was appointed interim boss after the Blues became the first Champions League holders to exit the competition at the group stage earlier this season.

Former Liverpool manager Benitez was never a popular appointment at Stamford Bridge and confirmed last week he would be leaving at the end of the campaign, in order to encourage supporters to back the team, rather than barrack him.

That rant, coupled with his criticism of the 'interim manager' title, led to suggestions the Spaniard could depart prior to the end of the season, while speculation of a permanent replacement for Roberto Di Matteo has been incessant.

Gourlay, who was speaking in Kuala Lumpur while promoting the forthcoming tour, said the status quo remains for now, with Benitez on course to fulfil his brief.

"Achieving one of the Champions League qualification slots is very important to this football club," Gourlay said on chelseafc.com.

"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."


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T

ony Barrett knows his onions, quality journalist. If he says its b*ll*cks, it is. Unfortunately.

King_Kenny
The Old Team Gossip

Y

eah, that'll do nicely. Guess they're feeling pretty flush after the World Cup and see a few successful years ahead with our new manager. Get Vidal in asap now, and let's get things back on track.

badwolf
Man Utd secure adidas kit deal

I

worry about these types of conclusions on a teams brilliance when it was very clear that Argentina had 4 chances where they really should have scored and on chances alone then it would have been the more pragmatic Argentinians who would be the best in the world. I like the Germany team but this just shows that even with planning it relies on a great deal of luck and finding your opponents at just the right time.

dryice
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