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Benitez shifts his focus

25 Nov 2009 - 08:36:32

Rafa Benitez refused to be too downhearted even after his Liverpool side had failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The Reds beat Debrecen 1-0 in Hungary but can only finish third in the group after Fiorentina beat Lyon 1-0 in Florence to confirm their place in the last 16 of Europe's premier competition.

Belnitez must now turn his focus to the Europa League and the Premier League as he looks to ensure his team finish in the top four once again.

He said: "You have to be disappointed. We did our job here but we cannot change things. If you analyse the games, two late goals against Lyon were a massive difference.

"You have the first half against Fiorentina and the two late goals but that's football and sometimes you can't control things. We had chances in all of the games - we could have won all of them.

"We have been so good in the last few years that people think it's easy to progress. You can see every year we've qualified and everyone expects us to be in the final.

"But the fans realise the team worked so hard and you can't expect more. We made two mistakes late against Lyon but the fans have some experience in Europe.

"We have to be positive, we have a massive game on Sunday and we have to make sure we are ready.

"I like to win every game and be as high as possible in all the competitions but I think more about the players, the staff and the fans and I'm disappointed for everyone.

"To win is always the target but when you are doing as well as you can you just have to think about the next target. We cannot win the Champions League, we know that. A lot of teams don't play in the Champions League. So we have to think about Everton and then the Europa League.

"The players know it's been a bad run of games but to win here and to show we can create a lot of chances is positive."


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