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Benitez keen to stay at Anfield

Rafael Benitez
Benitez's contract has another two years to run

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has spoken of his desire to stay at Anfield despite the boardroom battle between co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Benitez's position has been thrown into doubt over revelations the American duo and chief executive Rick Parry held talks with Jurgen Klinsmann last year.

But on Friday the 48-year-old Spaniard reiterated his determination to honour his contract, which runs until 2010.

"I'm really pleased and happy here and want to stay," he said.

It was originally thought only Hicks talked with the former Germany coach, who is due to take over at Bayern Munich at the end of this season.

What did Bolton do in the Uefa Cup with their team selection? They left players out

Rafael Benitez

However, reports claim Parry also attended the meeting in New York - but only after after being told to by his American bosses.

The chief executive is understood to have had serious misgivings about the meeting and its potential effect on the club if news of it leaked out.

The relationship between Hicks and Gillett broke down some time ago, leading to civil war breaking out at Anfield.

Hicks wants Gillett ally Parry to quit, labelling his tenure a "disaster".

But Parry has the support of Gillett and a majority in his favour among the club's six-man board.

Meanwhile, Benitez has defended his right to select the team of his choice to play at Fulham on Saturday.

Bolton manager Gary Megson has called on him to select a strong team for Saturday's game against the Trotters' relegation rivals.

But Liverpool play Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.

Benitez said: "I will be thinking a little about Chelsea. I have players I don't want to risk and I've enough quality in the squad to win at Fulham."

Liverpool lost to Fulham at the same stage of last season after Benitez rested several key players - and he was criticised by Sheffield United for his team selection.

The Blades were subsequently relegated, but Benitez added: "I know there was criticism last season when we did something similar at Fulham, coming from Sheffield United.

606: DEBATE

"But what did they do in their last game? They lost. So I feel it is sometimes better to look to yourself and what you do.

"Teams have 38 games to play each season, that is enough. So you are responsible for your own luck."

Fulham are currently second bottom in the Premier League with 27 points, while Bolton are one place above them with with 29 points.

And Megson recently said: "Liverpool are going to have a massive say in which teams go down.

"We would hope that Rafa Benitez will retain the integrity of the Premier League with his squad selection."

But Benitez countered: "What did Bolton do in the Uefa Cup with their team selection? They left players out.

"I will use the players I believe will be good enough to win this game, and the next one and the next one. I believe 38 games is enough to be successful or not.

"Look at what all the teams in the middle of the table have been doing recently.

"They have been using different players, young players, and they have been preparing for the future."




Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

see also
Fulham v Liverpool
18 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Gillett hits back at Hicks in row
17 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Warnock hits out after relegation
14 May 07 |  Sheff Utd
Fulham 1-0 Liverpool
05 May 07 |  Premier League


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