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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Reds owner backs Benitez policy
Rafa Benitez
Benitez's side face a struggle to progress in the Champions League
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has received the backing of Reds co-owner Tom Hicks following their 2-1 Champions League defeat at Besiktas.

Liverpool are bottom of their group and will probably need to win their last three games to progress any further.

"We back Rafa - he's the right manager," said Hicks.

"Rafa's rotation has been his policy for three years - his ability to coach and manage in the Champions League should be unquestioned."

Benitez guided Liverpool to the Champions League title three years ago and took them back to the final again last year.

But a draw in Porto followed by defeats to Marseille and Besiktas have left the Reds on just one point.

Wins in their last three matches - at home to Besiktas and Porto and away to Marseille - would almost certainly take Liverpool through, although it is possible that two wins and a draw would be enough.

606: DEBATE
Liverfan

Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League, but they have fallen six points behind the leaders Arsenal after drawing their last two home games.

Benitez's side host the Gunners on Sunday and Hicks remains upbeat.

"We're just not playing as good as we can right now. Obviously, Fernando Torres is injured, but hopefully he can play at the weekend," he told BBC Sport.

"We haven't lost yet and if we win on Sunday, we'll be within three points of Arsenal so that's the plan. I think we're doing OK."

Hicks and fellow American George Gillett took over Liverpool in March and have since revamped the club's plans for a new stadium.

They hope to get Liverpool City Council's approval at a meeting on 5 November.

Hicks admitted the projected cost had risen to "at least 400m".

But he added: "I'm so excited about the new stadium because we'll be able to go do things for the fans we've never been able to do for them."

The stadium will have a capacity of 60,000 - 15,000 more than Anfield - when it opens but that could increase to 75,000 in the future.



SEE ALSO
Benitez clings on to Euro dream
24 Oct 07 |  Liverpool
Besiktas 2-1 Liverpool
24 Oct 07 |  Europe
Champions League photos
24 Oct 07 |  Europe
Champions League tables
18 Sep 07 |  Europe
Benitez frustration over Gerrard
24 Sep 07 |  Liverpool
Assistant Ayestaran leaves Reds
14 Oct 07 |  Liverpool
Liverpool unveil new stadium plan
25 Jul 07 |  Liverpool


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