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The Spaniard believes that supporters hostile to his appointment as manager are now getting behind the team after they beat Sunderland to make it three wins in a week

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez believes the atmosphere around Stamford Bridge is changing after the Blues secured their third win in a week to strengthen their grip on a place in the top four of the Premier League.

The Spaniard has been repeatedly booed by supporters unhappy with his appointment as interim manager and eventually criticised the adverse effect he believed that behaviour was having on the team.

Continued progress in the FA Cup and Europa League, however, has kept Chelsea in contention for trophies and they regained third place in the top flight by beating Sunderland 2-1 on Sunday.

"I do the same, I try to concentrate on my job," Benitez told reporters. "But people are asking me and the feeling is everybody has realised we have to stick together and support the team.

"That was my message before, and that is still my message now.

"[The atmosphere] is always important. When you have great games, it's the atmosphere. The best nights here are with great atmosphere. It's always very positive."

Sections of the crowd have also run out of patience with Fernando Torres in recent weeks but, after scoring two goals against Rubin Kazan on Thursday, the striker came on at half-time to help inspire a come-from-behind victory against the Black Cats.

"You could see he was fresh and ready," Benitez said of the £50 million signing.

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