Grant ready to answer manager SOS from Chelsea
Avram Grant has indicated a willingness to take charge of Chelsea for the rest of the season at short notice, should the club decide to sack Rafael Benitez after their match against West Bromwich Albion today.
A source close to Grant revealed that the 58-year-old was monitoring developments and would give serious consideration to accepting a second spell as manager if called upon by owner Roman Abramovich.
Grant was sacked by Abramovich in 2008 after less than a year in charge but has retained strong links with his former club, speaking to officials there on a regular basis. He has been out of work since the summer and has been viewed as a potential short-term appointment should Benitez not survive until the summer.
Benitez insisted yesterday that the "majority" of Chelsea players are behind him, standing by his Teesside tirade, in which he criticised fans for creating a "negative" atmosphere around the team by chanting abuse about him.
"A lot of the players have been supporting me, telling me 'listen, carry on doing your job which is the right job'," said Benitez.
Chelsea's interim manager reiterated his desire for the fans to focus on backing the team. His mantra was about the need to "stick together", a phrase he used 10 times.
"I am part of the team. I need the supporters behind the team. We must stick together," he said.