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Benitez defiant ahead of crunch clash

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03 Nov 2009 19:29:00

Benitez defiant ahead of crunch clash

Rafael Benitez has defended his reign as Liverpool manager with the Anfield club facing European oblivion. If Liverpool lose their Champions League clash with Group E leaders Lyon in the Stade de Gerland on Wednesday, they will be all but out of this season's competition and Benitez knows the pressure on him will reach even greater heights. A seventh defeat in eight games would be something Liverpool have not experienced since Bill Shankly's appointment as manager, 50 years ago on December 1. There would be more calls for Benitez's head but the Spaniard cut a defiant figure, saying: "I am very pleased to be here and I wish to be here for a long time." "Two years ago we also needed to win our final three group matches, and we succeeded. We can do that again. "The players here are strong enough for this challenge. The mentality of the group is good, and they are determined to win."


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