Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rafa wants to see the Real Liverpool

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has admitted his side's lack of heart displayed in their 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic on Monday evening was a concern.

The Spaniard is seeking a positive reaction from his players when they travel to Lille on Thursday night for the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie, and has made his team aware of the specific areas in which they need to improve.

"In the first half [against Wigan] I was really disappointed at the way we were managing the game without winning any second balls, without any compactness or winning any challenges - I was really surprised," Benitez told his club's official website.

"In the second half we tried, but we were too anxious and making too many mistakes. But at least we had some chances - [Fernando] Torres had three or four chances - without playing well. That is the only positive you could see in the game.

"The players know we have to improve in some specific areas. Sometimes how you play depends on the other teams, on quality, match fitness and things like this.

"But you cannot afford not to fight from the first minute until the last because it is really important for the club and all of us."

The Reds manager also wants to see his players begin to put in the kind of effort that their passionate travelling support expects.

"We could hear the fans singing in the second half. They were singing and supporting the team after the first half, so the players know it is important for a lot of people," he added.

"We have fans travelling away and we are not doing well this year."

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