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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 10:11 GMT
Liverpool hit by striker crisis
Fernando Morientes
Liverpool could be without any first-team strikers for their next Premiership match against Bolton.

Fernando Morientes strained his thigh in Liverpool's win over Everton, while Milan Baros will be banned for three games following his red card.

"We are short in attack now," admitted manager Rafael Benitez, already without strikers Neil Mellor and Djibril Cisse.

"Maybe it's the reason we're so inconsistent. We haven't got enough players in the right positions."

Baros was sent off after 77 minutes for a rash tackle on Alan Stubbs, but Benitez refused to criticise the Czech striker.

"Maybe Milan deserved a red card but it's easy to show a red card in that situation," he said.

"I would like to see the three or four other possible yellow cards that could have been shown."

We need to see how the injuries settle down now
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

However, Stubbs was disgusted by the Czech striker's actions.

"You don't do those types of tackles that can finish players' careers," he said.

"It was a shocking tackle and I don't care what people say about typical strikers' challenges - that is a load of nonsense.

"It was tackle that could finish a career whether it was mine or anybody else and it is just not acceptable."

In an eventful first-half, Benitez's side took a 2-0 lead but lost Stephen Warnock, Dietmar Hamann and Morientes through injuries.

That forced Luis Garcia to play the second half while carrying an ankle problem.

"We need to see how the injuries settle down now," said Benitez.

"Maybe they will all be out for two or three weeks. It's hard to say at this stage but clearly we have a lot of problems at the moment.

"I am so proud of the players for the way they coped with the situation.

"It was a very difficult game and this is such a good win for us. We played with a high tempo in the first half and definitely deserved our victory."

A scan revealed Warnock had suffered a badly swollen ankle while Hamann has a medial ligament strain.


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