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Thursday, December 6, 2012
Grant: No Chelsea return

ESPN staff

Avram Grant has distanced himself from a return to Chelsea in any capacity and urged the club's fans to back interim manager Rafael Benitez.

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Benitez has endured a tough start to life at Stamford Bridge, with fans openly hostile to his appointment. It took the former Liverpool boss until his fourth game in charge to claim his first win, 6-1 against Nordsjaelland in the Champions League.

Grant, who led Chelsea to the Champions League final when manager in 2008, had been touted as a potential adviser to Benitez because of his close connections with club owner Roman Abramovich.

But he insisted Chelsea have, in Benitez, a man they can trust to move the club in the right direction.

"Nobody from Chelsea has offered me this job," Grant told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I heard a rumour, but I think this is not what's important.

"What's important is Chelsea have a manager and the club need to support him and not look for any other things."

Asked whether he would consider working alongside Benitez, he said: "I don't think it's the right idea for the moment.

"I don't like to speak about myself now because I have other things to do at this stage.

"I think Benitez is a very experienced coach and manager and I don't think, a few weeks after they give him the job, he will leave, and I don't think it will be right.

"He needs to use all his experience to take the club in a different direction, and they need to do everything to support him and not to look around."

Chelsea have not won in the Premier League for seven games and have exited the Champions League at the first hurdle, leading Grant to insist that now, more than ever, they need stability in the dugout.

"Any winning is good, and what Rafa needs is a good win and good football really to convince the supporters that they need to support him,'' he added.

"But I think, more than this, the club needs to support him then it will be easy for him because it's not easy times for Chelsea, first time out of the Champions League next stage and the gap between them and the first place in the league. I think he needs it and they need it."




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