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Euro success troubles Rafa

08 Aug 2008 - 10:14:29

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has claimed that winning the Champions League in 2005 raised expectations too high and too quickly at Anfield.

The Spaniard has so far failed to help mount a serious bid for the Premier League title during his time with the Reds, with Benitez admitting that European success may have had an adverse affect.

He told The Times: "In some ways it made things more difficult because the expectations became so high.

"Then we won the European Super Cup and FA Cup the following season and suddenly everyone was saying 'okay, the next step will be the Premier League title'.

"But then, when you don't win it, people say 'oh, you can't go to that next step,' when, maybe we were operating at the next level up, but because the other teams around us were progressing as well, it didn't seem that way.

"In some respects, we were maybe our own worst enemies, but, of course, I'd prefer to have that problem, to be talking as a Champions League winner.

"People are talking now about us not having won the league for 18 years, but it was 21 years since this club had last won the European Cup.

"It's clear that we are going in the right direction and progressing. We have got good young players coming through who will be important, while those with experience are settling down now.

"Everybody can see that the team and squad is improving every year and that now we are much better, but will that be enough to win the title?

"That's the big question because it depends on the other teams as well."

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