Monday, 24 August 2009

Rafa: We can do better then last seasons 5-0 Villa victory

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has stated that although the Anfield club's 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa last March was a very good performance, he says his team can get even better. Speaking ahead of tonight's Premiership encounter with Martin O'Neill's side, the Reds boss said:

"We have played some very good games," he said. "Villa last season was very good, scoring five goals and keeping a clean sheet, with a high tempo and lots of pressing. But I would like to play a little bit better. We were in a very good moment when we beat them and, while I am not saying this to be arrogant, but I think we can improve on that game," said Benitez in the Telegraph.

"For tonight, it depends on the players, if from the beginning they can play with a high tempo. But we need to remember that Aston Villa are a very good team who play on the counter attack."

The Liverpool boss has also highlighted the attacking threat of goalkeeper Pepe Reina. The Spanish international who's long clearances proved deadly last season, assisted goal scorer Albert Riera in the same fixture last season.

“Pepe is very important for us in attacking terms,” the Liverpool manager said. “He is a threat to defences because when you have Torres and Pepe together, you know as a defender you have to be watching the game. Pepe can give assists. He works hard on his kicking and you can see how good he is,” said the Liverpool boss in the Times.

“We have fantastic ’keepers in England but at a top side like Liverpool, it is very difficult because normally they are not involved in the game too much,” Benítez said. “To see Pepe at this level from the beginning of the season is really good for us. He needs to be focused and concentrated because he only has one or two saves to make in a game."

“He started very well against Tottenham and the save from [Rory] Delap against Stoke was fantastic. He showed he is a very good ’keeper; the best in the Premier League for me.”

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