London – Rafael Benitez's position as interim manager at Chelsea is secure despite the Spaniard's poor start since replacing Roberto Di Mattero, the club's former assistant coach Ray Wilkins believes.
Benitez, appointed until the end of the season, is under pressure to turn Chelsea's fortunes around quickly after two draws and Saturday's 3-1 defeat to West Ham since he was recruited by owner Roman Abramovich.
But Wilkins, when asked on BBC Radio Five on Sunday whether he thought Benitez might also be sacked, replied: “I would think that is totally out of the question.”
He added: “They have asked him to come in and do a job and no doubt he is trying to work very hard to do it.
“Unfortunately the results are going against him at the moment. It has been a very difficult period for Chelsea Football Club and at the moment they are struggling.”
Wilkins suggested Chelsea were fast running out of options for the permanent managerial post.
“If Pep Guardiola was to come in and was sacked then where do you go?” Wilkins said.
“He is supposedly the best on the planet. He is a young man of 41. You have Mourinho out there but would Jose come back? I have no idea.
“Gus Poyet would be a good choice. He is cutting his teeth at Brighton, he has been at Leeds and Swindon so he knows the trade and he is a Chelsea legend, as Roberto Di Matteo was.
“The options are now being closed down rather rapidly.”
Wilkins put Chelsea's recent woes down to the absence of John Terry at the back and Frank Lampard's goal-scoring contribution from midfield.
“When you lose those goals from the middle of the field, you have a massive problem,” Wilkins said.
“Whether it is the club who spends money or Rafa who spends money, it has to be done because the season is coming to a rather rapid halt and we are not even at Christmas yet.” – Sapa-AFP