Benitez was so scared of losing he didn't try to win, says Debrecen boss
17 September 2009 11:29
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has been accused of being running scared of a bunch of Champions League no-hopers.
The five-times European champions stumbled to a 1-0 defeat of Hungarian rookies Debrecen at Anfield - but the visiting coach was not impressed by what he saw.
Andras Herczeg felt his side deserved something from the game after creating good chances and suggested Benitez was tryingso hard not to lose, he forgot to try and win.
Hard done-by: Debrecen coach Andras Herczeg
Herczeg said: 'It says everything that in those final minutes I sent on an extra striker, and Rafael Benitez sent on a world-class midfielder, Javier Mascherano, to make sure that they did not throw away a victory.'
He added: 'We were maybe a little overawed at the beginning with everything about Anfield. They are a world-class team and they were always going to create a lot of chances.
'But it was a shame we conceded the goal so close to the break, we were not concentrating and paid for that. We certainly stood up to the pressure they created and the chances they made.'
After seeing Dirk Kuyt's 12th European goal clinch the three points, Benitez said: 'We won, so I'm happy. We made a lot of chances and just did not take them.
'So because of that we ended up under pressure at the end of the match when we should have been winning comfortably.
But Debrecen can take credit for their display, this may be their first game at this level but they have dominated in Hungary for several years and you could see why.
'They were well organised and worked very hard. What we had to do was score the second goal, and then it would have been easier. But we could not manage to do that.
'We were in control for most of the match, they had just one shot from a counter-attack. But although we did not score the goals we wanted, we did win and I'm happy
'We are confident now, we are winning games in a row and we have started the Champions League with three points. But hopefully we will be much better next time.
'We did not know too much about Debrecen, but we knew they had good players and they would have to show their quality on a higher stage. But they certainly did that.'