Thursday, April 29, 2010

Benitez unsure over his future as Liverpool remain silent

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has voiced concerns about the lack of reassurances over his future at the club and hit out at press "rumours" of an impending departure and discussions of potential candidates for his job.

Benitez has been linked with a switch to Juventus for months now while a raft of managers have been mentioned as possible replacements for the Liverpool hotseat should Benitez leave - or be pushed.

Liverpool's so-far disappointing season could get worse on Thursday if they fail to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit in their Europa League semi-final return meeting with Atletico Madrid at Anfield.

Benitez's side crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage and look like falling short of qualification for that tournament through the Premier League, despite the Spanish manager's infamous "guarantee" Liverpool would finish fourth.

Benitez insisted his focus is solely on the next match and not on his future, although he felt compelled to mention the lack of public support coming out of the Liverpool hierarchy in the wake of press speculation about possible future Liverpool managers.

"I don't like the (Juventus) rumours," Benitez said ahead of the Europa League tie. "I would like to see news in the press about trophies or goals or fantastic performances by players, but you cannot control everything.

"My future is (playing against) Athletico Madrid. We have to concentrate on this game and try to win because it's the best for the club.

"I have spent a year listening to names like Martin O'Neill, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klinsmann and Frank Rijkaard (being linked with his job), but I've just kept doing my job.

"All my focus is on the next game, that's the future for me, but no one from the club has spoken to me about mine. For me the next game is always the most important and playing in a European final again would be massive for any club.''

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