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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 08:13 GMT
Benitez '100% committed' to Reds
Rafa Benitez
Benitez has been criticised for constantly rotating his players
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has reiterated his commitment to the club as speculation grows about his long-term future at Anfield.

The Reds' shock FA Cup exit to Barnsley has piled more pressure on Benitez before Tuesday's game with Inter Milan.

"I have been working (as a coach) for 21 years now," said Benitez. "I have good memories and bad memories.

"But my commitment to this club is 100%. We need to keep going. It's the only way we're going to change things."

With the Anfield club out of both domestic cup competitions and lying fifth in the Premier League, 19 points adrift of leaders Arsenal, the Champions League is now Liverpool's only hope of silverware.

Benitez insists his players can bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to Barnsley and put in a strong performance against the Italian champions at Anfield on Tuesday evening.

It is very opportunistic to blame rotation for everything that goes wrong

Fernando Torres

"Everybody knows we must be really disappointed and we want to improve. We will try to do it," said Benitez.

"The players' mood is really good, probably better than people expect. My players have confidence.

"Physically and mentally they are ready for the game. We have prepared well and I am confident we will be ready for a good performance.

"We know it will be difficult because Inter Milan are a good side who have won a lot of games this season, but we know that on our night we can beat anybody at Anfield and the players know what they have to do."

Defender Jamie Carragher admitted Liverpool are suffering from something more serious than a "bad spell" and Benitez's position has been in doubt on numerous occasions throughout the season.

But the under-fire Liverpool boss also had a message for the club's supporters, some of whom have recently called into question his squad rotation policy.


"At Liverpool the fans say you will never walk alone and I am sure they will be behind us on Tuesday night," Benitez said.

"We know it will be another great atmosphere and I am sure they will play their part. We need their backing and their support.

"Other clubs change their players and rotate, but it's the results that matter."

Top scorer Fernando Torres is one player who agrees with Benitez's rotation policy.

The Spaniard, who has hit 18 goals so far this season, believes Benitez's insistence on resting key players has little correlation with Liverpool's recent slump.

"It is very opportunistic to blame rotation for everything that goes wrong," he told the Times.

"It is not a problem for us. Liverpool have won a Champions League, FA Cup and so on with rotation.

"It is normal to rest. We players never want to, but if the manager says so, you have to. If everybody accepts that's the way forward, the atmosphere does not suffer."

Torres could feature in Liverpool's starting line-up to face Inter along with captain Steven Gerrard.

The 23-year-old sustained a hamstring injury on international duty for Spain against France earlier this month.

Liverpool v Inter Milan
18 Feb 08 |  Europe
Liverpool form worries Carragher
18 Feb 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 1-2 Barnsley
16 Feb 08 |  FA Cup
Gerrard setting sights on fourth
12 Feb 08 |  Liverpool
Benitez is defiant despite defeat
31 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Benitez rejects fresh exit talk
07 Jan 08 |  Liverpool


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