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Fiji Time: 3:44 PM on Friday 19 September

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Pressure already on Chelsea caretaker

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Friday, November 23, 2012

LONDON - Rafael Benitez may be a hate figure with the Chelsea faithful but that could change if he returns the club to winning ways, according to former Blues midfielder Nigel Spackman.

Benitez was appointed as interim manager of Chelsea until the end of the season on Wednesday after the European champions sacked Roberto di Matteo.

Di Matteo was fired after Tuesday's 3-0 defeat by Juventus in Turin left Chelsea facing elimination at the group stage of the Champions League.

Benitez became unpopular amongst Blues fans during six years as Liverpool manager in which he twice denied Chelsea a place in the Champions League final.

However, Spackman, who also played for Liverpool, said supporters' views could be changed if the Spaniard got Chelsea back on the victory trail.

The club has won just two of their past eight games in all competitions under Italian manager di Matteo.

Benitez brought Fernando Torres to England, where the striker enjoyed a successful spell at Liverpool.

And Spackman said Benitez could be the man to revive the career of his compatriot.


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