The Nigerian midfielder John obi Mikel has come out in support of the manager Rafa Benitez by saying that the fans do not help the team by criticising the manager. The Chelsea fans have made it clear from the start that they did not welcome the appointment of the former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez due to the history between him and the club. Benitez criticised the Chelsea fans on a number of occasions when he was the Liverpool manager. As a result, there has been a lot of support for the former manager Roberto di Matteo, while also equal criticism for the current man.

Chelsea were just four points behind leaders Manchester United when Benitez arrived at the club, but they are now almost 20 points behind the Red Devils. The Spaniard was once again subjected to criticism during the FA Cup match against Manchester United during the weekend. Chelsea were losing 2-0 after just 11 min on the clock. Benitez brought on the defensive midfielder John obi Mikel in place of Lampard, while Hazard replaced the winger Victor Moses. It was a decision that was met with chorus of disapproval from the Chelsea fans, but it later turned out to be the reason behind Chelsea’s impressive comeback in the second half.

“Sometimes it doesn’t help when the fans are not happy. 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,” said Mikel after the 2-2 draw with Manchester United that forced the tie into a replay.