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Liverpool's poor form is a blip, says George Gillett

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett
Gillett became co-owner of Liverpool in March 2007

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett believes the club's poor form is only a "blip" and has given his support to under-fire manager Rafael Benitez.

Liverpool have been dumped out of the Champions League and FA Cup and are seventh in the Premier League, 14 points behind leaders Chelsea.

But Gillett told Fan 590 Toronto Sports Radio that the Reds have "generally played with a lot of passion".

He added that Benitez is one of the top five managers in the world.

Although they are still in the Europa League, Liverpool are in serious danger of finishing the campaign without a trophy for the fourth successive season.

They are languishing in the league, and are battling to secure Champions League football by virtue of a top-four finish following their 1-1 draw at Stoke on Saturday while they were knocked out of the FA Cup last week by Championship club Reading.

To add to their worries, three of their top scorers - Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun - are out injured.

606: DEBATE
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Benitez, who signed a new five-year deal in 2009, has maintained he is not going to resign, although he has admitted feeling sorry for fans who have had to endure a miserable run of form.

And after the draw against Stoke on Saturday, Benitez insisted his squad was united despite suggestions of dressing room unrest.

But Gillett, who has been regarded as less enthusiastic in his support for Benitez than fellow co-owner Tom Hicks, has given his backing to the Spaniard.

He told Canada's Fan 590 Toronto Sports Radio: "We believe if you were to put a list together of the top five coaches, managers in the world, he would definitely be on that list for us.

"And we think he's been tossed a curve ball by circumstance, injuries and so forth.

"I think that's been a real challenge to the coach. He's had to really make some innovations and play some players out of position and so forth.

"And notwithstanding that, they've generally played with a lot of passion. I really believe it's a blip."

Liverpool have not been helped by some bad luck, which included seeing a beach ball divert the ball into the net against Sunderland in October for the only goal of the game.

"That was a real low blow," added Gillett. "He (Benitez) has had a struggle getting the morale of the boys back up but we've got a great group of young men."



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see also
Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham
20 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Jones exit talk nonsense - Bruce
22 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Stoke 1-1 Liverpool
16 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Liverpool recall forgiven Babel
19 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Redknapp still wary of Liverpool
18 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Benitez insists Reds are united
16 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez feels sorry for Reds fans
15 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez job safe, say Liverpool
14 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez vows to fight on at Reds
14 Jan 10 |  Liverpool


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