Gourlay, who wrote a message to Chelsea supporters in the club’s official programme ahead of their woeful 1-0 home defeat against QPR last night, insists the side still have a better chance of winning silverware this term now that Benitez is at the helm.
He said: “I would like to thank Roberto Di Matteo for all he did after taking over last March and we will never forget the huge contribution he made to this club’s history.
“However, the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary to keep the club moving in the right direction ahead of a vitally important part of the season.
“Rafael Benitez subsequently joined us as interim manager. He has significant experience at the highest level of football and has come in to immediately help deliver our objectives.
“We still have the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup to fight for and we face Swansea in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals here at the Bridge next week. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all four fronts.”