Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Reds will attack Stoke from the outset declares Torres

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has told Fernando Torres to accept he is a marked man and to respond to increased provocation from opposing teams by scoring goals. Torres looked off his stride against Spurs on Sunday and looked a frustrated individual all afternoon as he was pushed and kicked off the ball.

"I have told him that he has to stop this," Benítez said. "He knows he has to improve this aspect of his game. He has to be completely focused on his football and he knows that the way forward is to respond to any intimidation by scoring. Sometimes it is not easy to deal with everything opponents do, but he knows he must deal with it in a different way," reports the Gaurdian.

"In his first season he was really focused and I think he will do that again now," Benítez said. "He knows he has to improve a little bit in these things. He is a star and the defenders are really worried about him, but that is part of the game now."

"He is physically fit, but match fitness is something that you get when you play games," explained the manager. "He only arrived with us on 19 July, we had the trip to Asia and he was playing 15 minutes, half an hour or 45 minutes. Then we had three days off and he played against Espanyol. We probably haven't had all the players together for more than one week, so it hasn't been easy."

"The problem we had was the Confederations Cup which is a very, very important tournament," Benítez said with more than a hint of sarcasm. "For a month the players were playing in a fantastic and important tournament."

Stoke City held The Reds to two goalless draws last season and Torres has pledged to attack from the outset. "We couldn't win against them, so we are waiting for a very defensive team," the Liverpool striker said. "They will try to score from set pieces or from a long ball, but we have to be offensive and go from the first minute until the end to try to score. And if we can score in the first minute I am sure we can win."

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