RAFA BENITEZ says he is confident he retains the wholehearted support of nearly all of his players – in spite of events this week.
The Spaniard threw off the gloves after the midweek FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, blasting some of the Chelsea fans for their persistent hostility towards him and accusing Roman Abramovich and the board of making a 'massive mistake' in giving him an 'interim' job description title.
There were also reports of some frank exchanges with some of the players at the training ground earlier in the week, in the wake of last Sunday's defeat at Manchester City.
But Benitez insists none of this means he has anything but complete backing from his squad.
"A lot of the players who have been supporting me have been telling me: 'listen, carry on with your job,'" said the Blues' boss.
“I have a lot of conversations with the players and the majority of them say they are really pleased with the training sessions, with the method, with the intensity and the tactics, and I think they are quite happy.
“You [as journalists] may have one or two players that you know, but if you talk with the majority, they will tell you they are happy.
"If you have 25 players in a squad, obviously you will have one or two who will not be happy – but it's the same with every single squad around the world.”
Benitez added: “Every single game for me is a challenge. Every single training session is a challenge and I try to do my best. I enjoy it, it's part of my passion. The atmosphere is training is very, very good.”