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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 16:18 GMT
Gerrard focused on Euro challenge
Steven Gerrard
The Porto match is crucial so we must take our current good form into it

Steven Gerrard
Champions League, Group A match
Date: Wednesday, 28 November
Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Venue: Anfield
Listen: BBC Radio 5 Live
Updates: BBC Sport website and mobile

Steven Gerrard has vowed not to let the row between boss Rafael Benitez and the club's owners distract Liverpool from their Champions League glory bid.

Benitez and American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillet have been at odds over the Reds' transfer policy.

But with the team needing to beat Porto and Marseille in their last two Group A matches to be certain of going through, Gerrard said: "We must keep our focus.

"We know there is stuff going on behind the scenes but we must blank that out."

Liverpool are third in their qualifying group, six behind leaders and Wednesday's opponents Porto.

And skipper Gerrard added: "We are judged on results and it is vital we do not get distracted by what is going on off the pitch, we must keep on winning.

"The Porto match is crucial so we must take our current good form into it and make sure we perform on the night."

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That view is supported by keeper Pepe Reina, who said: "We have not been affected at all by what has been going on, it is not easy and not nice but all we can do is play football and show how good or bad we are on the pitch.

"We are under pressure to win this game because it is important, it is not a question of keeping our manager in a job.

"Obviously nothing depends on one game but we want to continue playing in the Champions League for a long time, that is why we need to win."

Benitez, meanwhile, preferred to talk about the match rather than his relationship with Hicks and Gillett, saying: "As the manager of Liverpool, I know that the most important thing is the club and the fans so I will keep talking about the game against Porto.

"We must not lose. People are not considering this, but if we draw and beat Marseille in our final game, and Marseille lose to Besiktas we can also qualify.

"We are still in a very good position. We were outstanding in our last game when we beat Newcastle and are playing really well.

"You can see that the players are playing well, passing the ball and playing pretty football."



SEE ALSO
Liverpool v FC Porto (Wed)
27 Nov 07 |  Europe
Benitez wants to call Reds truce
26 Nov 07 |  Liverpool


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