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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rafael Benitez hits back at Wigan chief Dave Whelan

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Benitez's side have lost nine of their 29 Premier League games this season

Rafael Benitez has said Wigan chairman Dave Whelan should concentrate on his own club rather than worry about what is going on at Liverpool.

Whelan claimed the Reds were in a "mess" following Wigan's 1-0 victory over Benitez's side on Monday.

Whelan said: "Liverpool are in a mess. The owners, being American, I don't think they feel what we [fans] feel."

Reds manager Benitez hit back: "I do not talk about Wigan. He [Whelan] should talk about his own club."

Whelan also admitted he felt sorry for Liverpool fans after Hugo Rodallega's volley consigned them to a seventh league defeat away from Anfield this season, and their ninth loss in total.

"The big sympathy I have is for the Liverpool supporters because they are a fantastic lot," Whelan added.

"I'm really, really sorry for their supporters. We went to Anfield earlier in the season and there was absolutely no atmosphere and no heart at all.


"The supporters feel that and I think the players are starting to feel it."

Monday's result left Liverpool in sixth place in the Premier League table, one point behind Tottenham and Manchester City who have one and two games in hand respectively over the Reds.

Aston Villa, who are three points behind Liverpool, have three games in hand as the race for fourth spot, and a place in next season's European Champions League, gathers pace.

Benitez was highly critical of his side's performance at the DW Stadium, accusing them of lacking attitude and character.

But the Spaniard has little time to dwell on the defeat with the Reds travelling to France to take on Lille in the Europa League on Thursday.

"Hopefully there will be a reaction in Lille," said Benitez. "This is an opportunity to put things right and try to get a good result.

"In football you sometimes prefer to rest but at this time it is good to have a match quickly after what happened at Wigan."

Meanwhile, the Football Association has confirmed Steven Gerrard will face no disciplinary action over an apparent 'V' gesture at referee Andre Marriner during the game against Wigan.

It is understood Marriner saw the incident at the time but did not deem it worthy of further punishment. Under those circumstances, the FA cannot take retrospective action.

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see also
Benitez hits out at Reds attitude
08 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Wigan 1-0 Liverpool
08 Mar 10 |  Premier League

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