Rafa Benitez insists he is at Chelsea to win trophies after taking over as interim manager until the end of the season following the club’s dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo.
The Italian boss was sacked by Roman Abramovich after a 3-0 defeat to Juventus on Tuesday evening left their hopes of retaining the Champions League in a dire position.
However, his Spanish replacement has hailed the west London side as a “massive club”, and declared he took the job in order to add more silverware to the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet.
“I am here because I want to be here, at a massive club that allows me to fight for trophies,” he said speaking at his first Chelsea press conference.
“I don’t care about short term. At this moment I am here – I got the job. I have more desire and hunger to win trophies than before.”
The coach denies disrespecting the Stamford Bridge club while in charge of Liverpool, suggesting any fan would want to see their manager defending the club: “We were playing against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League. If I was a fan I’d like to see my manager fighting to win.
“I don’t see this as a lack of respect, I think it’s defending my club [at the time]. Everyone has to do what they have to do.”
Benitez said former boss Di Matteo did a “great job” after winning the Champions League and FA Cup after taking over from Andre Villas-Boas last season, but suggested winning is the only guarantee in football.
He continued: “Di Matteo was doing a great job, but you can win your game and still be out.
“It’s very simple. Winning games is a guarantee for everything. Winning games in a row means winning trophies. We have five competitions, five opportunities to do well.”
The manager will also link up with Fernando Torres, who was sold to the London club for £50 million by the Anfield side in 2011, with the boss declaring: “He is a top-class player. His attitude was really good. With the players and staff together I think we can win important things.”
And despite taking the role at a rival Premier League side, the Spaniard feels the Liverpool fans will forgive him.
“I can guarantee that a lot of Liverpool fans will wish me all the best – not against Liverpool – but they will wish me all the best,” he added.