Friday, November 13, 2009

Rafa hopes to turn around the fortune after the break

Rafa Benitez believes Liverpool FC can start salvaging their season with victory over Manchester City next Saturday – while claiming his team need only change some “small things” to get back on track.

The Anfield outfit went into this week’s international break reeling from a run of just one win in nine games and an ever-lengthening injury list.

Wide men Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera were the latest to join those in the treatment room with the pair ruled out for up to a month with torn hamstrings.

But despite the setbacks, Benitez believes the mood remains upbeat at Melwood with his team “so close” to rediscovering their best form in time for the visit of City, who have emerged as serious rivals for a top-four finish.

“We have to look at the big picture,” said the Liverpool manager. “We know we've had some problems and we've made some mistakes, but still we are so close.

“I talk with my staff. We have to change some small things that we need to improve on. We talk about the positives and analyse the negatives.

“If we start winning games, then everything will be different if we win two or three in a row. The confidence will be high and everything will be easier.

“Maybe we can start the season right now. Winning against City will be a big boost for everyone and if that happens I'm sure we'll see the best of the team.

“I am 100% sure everything will be totally different if we can win the game against City after this international break. The season can be good if we do well.”

Both Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson have been training at Melwood this week after lack of fitness ruled them out of England’s showpiece friendly against Brazil in Qatar this evening.

Benitez reckons the feedback after Monday’s 2-2 draw with Birmingham City suggests supporters are also confident the tide is being turned.

“I was really pleased talking to some fans after the Birmingham game,” said the Spaniard. “The fans who were in the stadium could see the team did well. We have not had the luck with two late goals against Lyon and then against Birmingham.

“We deserved to win these games and the fans in the stadium know it's just a question of time.

“For me, if you're playing well and creating chances in every game, then it's just about getting a little bit of luck, scoring the second goal and finishing the game.”

Benitez added: “We have a better squad than people think. It's a question of getting some key players back.

“You could see the other day that with Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard we were creating so many chances.”

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