Rafa Benitez says he can appreciate why Chelsea supporters are frustrated but he remains convinced the team can become great again.
Benitez was an unpopular choice as manager when he was placed in interim charge following the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo earlier in the season, and he has struggled to win fans round due to a run of inconsistent results.
He says he can understand their feelings but has become accustomed to criticism and is working as hard as he can to get the Blues back on track.
“I cannot change the perception people have of me because I was successful at Liverpool against Chelsea,” Benitez told the Daily Mirror. “I thought when I came that if I carried on winning games here, it would get easier.
“But if you cannot win all the time, I understand that sometimes the fans get a little bit frustrated. And I am frustrated too.
“But at any club, whatever its circumstances, there are always going to be people who do not agree with you.
“In football in England, you have 60 million managers. In Spain, there are 40 million managers. Everyone has an opinion. You have to accept that this is normal.”
Benitez insists he is more confident than ever that Chelsea have the capability to enjoy another golden era in the next few years, but he feels this is a transitional season and says the main target is finishing in the top four.
“I think this group of players has great, great potential,” the Spaniard enthused. “That is more clear now in my head than it was when I arrived. Their possibility to grow is even bigger than I suspected.
“Some of them need more confidence and some more experience in the Premier League. They can compete now but they can be even better.
“The reality is that we are a team in transition. The priority is to finish in the top four or top three.
“After that, we have two more trophies that we can try with the FA Cup and the Europa League.”
Benitez added: “My ambition to win trophies is stronger than ever. People may think ‘he has won a lot of trophies and maybe he is not thinking about winning any more’.
“But it is the opposite. Because you have won and won in three countries, you want to show that you can carry on winning trophies.”