LONDON — Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has again refused to apologise for comments made about the London club's fans while he was in charge of Liverpool.
Benitez was given a frosty reception by supporters upon his introduction as Chelsea boss during Sunday's draw with Premier League champions Manchester City, fans unhappiness at the sacking of Champions League-winning manager Roberto di Matteo compounded by the appointment of the Spaniard as his successor.
And a large section of Chelsea support wants Benitez to say "sorry" for comments taken to be a dig at the Blues.
Some of those words have have been immortalised on the walls of Liverpool's Melwood training ground.
"We do not need to give away flags for our fans to wave — our supporters are always there with their hearts and that is all we need.
"It's the passion of the fans that helps to win matches — not flags."
But Benitez, speaking on Tuesday ahead of the west London derby with Fulham, insisted he would not be raking over the past and what mattered now was results, with Chelsea currently five points behind league leaders Manchester United.
"The problem is we can analyse what I said and didn't say," he said.
"We can't be checking if it's true or not. I'll try my best to win their trust. That's it."
As for the comments now inscribed at Melwood, Benitez simply said: "I was praising the fans of my club, my team.
"But I'm here now, it's my club, and I will do my best for them.
"That's my explanation, very easy and very simple.
"I will try to defend my club, and this is now my club."
He added: "It's not a situation we can change in one minute. But working hard, winning games, I can improve it. Starting with Fulham."