Fulham boss Jol: Benitez will win Chelsea fans over

Ahead of Wednesday's west London derby, the Dutchman has backed his opposite number to succeed at Stamford Bridge and gain the backing of Blues supporters sooner rather than later

Fulham manager Martin Jol believes Chelsea fans’ reservations over new boss Rafael Benitez will soon disappear once the team start winning again.

"I think it had more to do with Di Matteo," Jol told reporters. "He was much appreciated there because he did well as a player and, I think, he did well as a manager, to be fair.

The Spaniard was appointed as the Blues manager on November 21 following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, who led the club to both Champions League and FA Cup success last season, and was met with boos at his first game in charge following previous negative remarks about Chelsea while Liverpool boss.

However, Jol remains confident that disgruntled Blues fans will change their opinion of Benitez when the team start picking up points.

"It was not a decision that everyone could understand so you get this sort of thing. But Rafa Benitez is a true professional who has been in this business for a long time so he is tough enough," he said.

Jol added, "I don't think I have experienced it before in my career, but of course, in England he was at Liverpool, a big club. He said probably a few things about Chelsea and I have done that in the past because you are like a chameleon.

"You get the colors of the club you are at and that is what he did so I think after a couple of wins I feel he will win them over.”

Chelsea has won just one of its last six Premier League games, and face Jol’s Fulham side in a west London derby on Wednesday.

The Dutchman believes the clash is a "must win" for the Blues but has dismissed concerns over his own side, who are struggling on a five-match winless streak.

He continued: "It is not only about the manager, it is about the club and winning games. Hopefully he won't start [against us].

"I feel it is a must-win game for them. They have to probably win, to have a result, otherwise that will be problematic."

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