Premier League

Rafa: Roman relationship fine

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Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:18:00

Brighton boss Gus Poyet admits he is happy to be linked to the job of Chelsea manager.

The 45-year-old Uruguayan, who played for Chelsea from June 1997 to June 2001 and made more than 100 appearances for the club, is around a 7/1 chance to succeed Rafael Benitez when the interim boss departs Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Poyet, who has guided Brighton into the play-off places in the Championship this term, said: "I want to go to the highest level and if it's the Premier League and it's Chelsea, fantastic.

"That's my aim. Everybody knows. I don't hide it.

"I like the speculation because it means we are doing something right. But it doesn't change my life at the moment."

Benitez has hogged Thursday's headlines following his rant criticising Blues supporters and the club's decision to give him the title of interim manager.

The Blues boss launched an impassioned monologue following the holders' 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, which set up a quarter-final tie with Manchester United, and the criticism sparked suggestions his tenure in caretaker charge could come to an end as soon as Thursday.

The comments are unlikely to have gone down well with Abramovich and the Blues board, but Chelsea insisted it was "business as usual" at their Surrey training base, where Benitez took training.

The Spaniard, who has confirmed he will leave Chelsea at the end of season, is expected to be given at least one more match in charge when West Brom visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday and will hold the pre-match media conference as scheduled on Friday afternoon.

"My relationship with the owner is really good," Benitez told BBC's Football Focus. "Every time I talk to Abramovich about football, I enjoy (it).

"I know that he wants to win. I'm here because he wants to win and I will try to do my best until the last day.

"The relationship is fine. I don't have any problem with anyone.

"I have conversations with Michael Emenalo, the technical director, every single day. He watches the training sessions, we talk about football and when I meet Roman Abramovich, we talk about football.

"We talk like normal people. We share a passion for football."

Reports of dressing room unrest, including a dispute with captain John Terry, have been played down and Benitez is adamant there are no major concerns.

"My relationship with the staff, the people at Cobham, is really good, fantastic," Benitez added. "The players are fully behind our ideas, 100%."

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