Monday, 15 June 2009

Rafa declares 'This is the beginning of something important'

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has praised the quality of the team, declaring they are closing in on United and ‘can beat anyone’. The Reds made vast improvements last season and accumulated their best ever points tally in the Premiership. "If you analyse the number of points, 86, you see it's a record for the club in the Premier League," Benitez told the official web site.

"We are going forward, we are progressing. For the future this is good news and hopefully this is the beginning of something important.

"In terms of the consistency of the team we've been really good. The squad is better, the mentality is very good and the players are competing for their positions."

Speaking about twice beating United last season, including the devastating 1-4 thrashing at Old Trafford, Benitez said: "We won against them twice this year. We've shown we can beat anyone. Clearly we have enough quality in the team. The squad is good but against us United had Giggs, Scholes and Berbatov on the bench.”

"Each year is different but we are closer, we have more confidence, and the experience of this year will be good for next season. You never know but it seems like we are reducing the gap."

Rafa’s backroom staff played an imperative role last season and Benitez thinks their winning spirit will benefit the team: "Mauricio has shown he is a great coach," added Benitez. "He is someone with passion who knows the game. But he has the same problem as Sammy Lee - he has to improve his English!

"It's very good for us to have people like Sammy and Mauricio because they've both won trophies. They both know what it means to fight in the top leagues. They know what it means to make finals.

"The experience they have is really good for the players."

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