Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Benitez says Leeds will be a threat

Reds coach Rafael Benitez believes tonight's Carling Cup clash against Leeds United will present a tough test for his squad and expressed his surprise that the former Premiership club are now plying their trade in league one.

"I believe the game will be a sell-out, and it is a surprise to me that Leeds find themselves in League One these days," said Benitez to Sky Sports.

"Leeds will be difficult, we know they are a big club and we respect their history.

"I have been watching DVDs of their games and it is clear that their supporters are very important to them. They back their team all the time and make it tough for their opponents.

"Those fans are amazing, such loyalty and support, and that has been very apparent to me in watching tapes from last season.

"We know it will be tough. It is a massive club despite the division they are in.

"I have no doubts that this will be a very difficult match. They have quality and they are a big club with great traditions.

"They will want to win this one because of the situation they find themselves in.

"They have passion, quality and the fans are always really behind their team.

"It is a shock and disappointment for everyone to see Leeds in the position they are in now. I am aware that back in previous years, there was a big rivalry between Leeds and Liverpool.

"In those days the clubs met in cup finals, and Leeds have not forgotten those days."

"We will try to manage the squad for the match and use some different players," added Benitez.

"But we want to win and get to the final. In my first season we got to the Carling Cup final and were winning with 10 minutes to go before we conceded an own goal.

"I would like to go to the final again and make amends for that defeat."

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