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Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Sunday, 13 September 2009 11:58 UK

Benitez defends Reina's comments

Pepe Reina
Reina's only trophy in four years with Liverpool is the 2006 FA Cup

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has tried to put keeper Pepe Reina saying that winning this season's title "is not a realistic objective" into context.

"I think Pepe was trying to say something that we have spoken about before," said Benitez.

"We should not think about silverware or titles - just to get three points in the next game and see what happens."

The Reds finished second to Manchester United last season and have not won the league since 1989/90.

They had been hit by two defeats in their opening four games before thrashing Burnley on Saturday and Reina told The Guardian: "There isn't frustration, there is resignation.

"Maybe it's time to get realistic and not think about the title but just about winning the next game."

Liverpool sold midfielder Xabi Alonso during the summer and, despite them spending around £38m to bring in Glen Johnson from Portsmouth and Alberto Aquilani from Roma, question marks remain over the depth of Benitez's squad.

Teams like Manchester United have lots of players who can tip the balance; we haven't got the individuals

Pepe Reina

Reina feels his side lacks the quality that is needed, adding: "We know what's in the squad; we can't do anything about it. All we can do is roll our sleeves up, work hard and try to win matches.

"Teams like Manchester United have lots of players who can tip the balance; we haven't got the individuals.

"There are games that get congested and we haven't got the vision other sides boast. Chelsea have Didier Drogba, who can bring down any ball - a useful option we haven't got."

The 27-year-old Spanish goalkeeper, whose only silverware with the Reds since making a £6m move from Villarreal in 2005 is the 2006 FA Cup, called upon the club's American co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks to improve Liverpool's chances by giving Benitez more money to spend.

606: DEBATE
The kid from Fuenlabrada

"It would be good if the owners made an effort economically, if they pushed." Reina said.

"It would be lovely if we found ourselves in an economic position where we can bring in players and build a squad that can compete with other sides.

"But it's up to the owners to try to bring players in, not us."

Reina feels that Liverpool's title hopes are not over yet but admits they are struggling to live up to their pre-season billing as one of the main challengers.

"Can we win the league? I think so but there are other teams that are very capable of winning it - Chelsea, United, Arsenal, Manchester City.

"We can't set ourselves objectives. We all want to win the league but right now it is not a realistic objective."



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see also
Liverpool 4-0 Burnley
12 Sep 09 |  Premier League
Gerrard below par, says Benitez
28 Aug 09 |  Liverpool
British clubs avoid Euro giants
27 Aug 09 |  Europe
We are in title hunt - Benayoun
26 Aug 09 |  Liverpool
Title bid not over, says Benitez
24 Aug 09 |  Premier League
Liverpool sign defender Kyrgiakos
21 Aug 09 |  Liverpool


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