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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Liverpool manager Benitez 'guarantees' top four finish


Benitez 'guarantees' top four finish for Liverpool

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez says he "guarantees" that they will finish in the top four despite their poor form so far this season.

Having begun hoping to challenge for the title Liverpool lie seventh in the table, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea and out of the Champions League.

"I am sure we can do it because I know we are better than the team you are seeing on the pitch," said Benitez.

"I can guarantee we will finish in the top four."

On Sunday, Liverpool lost 2-1 at home to Arsenal, despite scoring first.

That result, their sixth league defeat of the season, left them five points adrift of the Champions League places. And it extended their run of poor results to only three wins in the last 15 games, their last home victory having come against champions Manchester United on 25 October.

Benitez is facing the most difficult period of his five years in charge at Anfield, but insists he will not compromise his principles to get out of an uncomfortable situation.


"For five years I think we were doing well," he said. "So we have to keep going in the same way because the club is stronger now in everything: the squad, the value of the club is better than five years ago.

"Yes, it is a bad moment but I still think we can improve.

"I think it is very important for any manager, but especially here in England, to be strong.

"You have to show you have an idea, you have your own people that you can talk with and analyse things and say 'This is the way to do things' and we have to keep going.

"The main thing for me is to come here early in the morning, do my job, go home still working a little bit and try to be ready for the next day.

"That is the way to do things and that is an example for the players - and they are doing the same thing.

"Everything can be improved and if we make mistakes we keep going.

"There are still 22 games to play so we know we have to change our target. Now it is to get three points against Wigan and then start thinking about Portsmouth (at the weekend)."

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see also
Carragher prays for better times
15 Dec 09 |  Liverpool
Kuyt wants to see Reds fight back
14 Dec 09 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
13 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Benitez hits back at Reds critics
11 Dec 09 |  Liverpool
Benitez eyes fresh start for Reds
10 Dec 09 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 1-2 Fiorentina
09 Dec 09 |  Europe
Win is a turning point - Benitez
30 Nov 09 |  Premier League

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