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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
Benitez praise for TNS goalkeeper
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez picked out TNS goalkeeper Gerard Doherty for praise after a fine second-leg show at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground.

Doherty ensured Liverpool were limited to just Djibril Cisse's goal before Steven Gerrard's late brace.

"The goalkeeper saved a lot of goals and for me he was the best player in the two games," Benitez said.

"But I am happy with the strikers and the work we have done, in the second half we played with better tempo."

Southampton striker Peter Crouch is poised to join Liverpool for 7m in the next few days, subject to a medical.

But Benitez denied he had any concerns over his strikeforce and was happy with Cisse's contribution on the night.

"He has the pace and he's a good finisher, but for me as a manager to have different options is good," Benitez said.

"With Crouch, with (Anthony) Le Tallec, or with (Fernando) Morientes and Cisse I will have more problems - but I like these kind of problems.

It's not a worry that we have had to rely on Steven Gerrard to score five goals for us in two games
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

"The final scoreline was good but maybe we could have scored some more goals.

"But I am happy with the strikers and with the work that we have done - sometimes you can score with more luck and sometimes the goalkeeper does good saves.

"TNS were well organised and they did well. We saw them on videos before the tie and we knew that they would be prepared."

Having scored a hat-trick in last week's first-leg, Gerrard was rested for the opening hour.

"We were thinking about not using Steven at all, but he wanted to come on and play and now he has five goals in two games," said Benitez.

"That's good for him and good for us. It's a good return for a midfielder, but I think he can score more goals than last season. He can go forward more because he has good players around him.

"I always knew that Steven was important for us, but it's not a worry that we have had to rely on him to score five goals for us in two games.

"We have the squad to produce more as a team now."




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