Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes he and his team-mates have answered their critics after they were written off earlier this season.
Seven defeats in the first four months of the campaign - five more than last year when they finished second to Manchester United - left the club floundering a long way off the pace in the Barclays Premier League.
Losses to the likes of Sunderland, Portsmouth and Fulham were put forward as evidence of the general malaise and stagnation at Anfield. Early exits from the Champions League - for the first time in Benitez's reign - and the FA Cup also put the manager's own future under intense scrutiny.
However, a seven-match unbeaten run of five wins and two draws has lifted Liverpool back into the top four for the first time since early October.
"There have been games this season where we have been beaten and not shown enough fight, enough good attitude and commitment," said the England midfielder. "That's why we've not gotten the results we've wanted, but I don't think anyone can criticise us over the last seven games for the level of commitment.
"Every single player in the squad has rolled his sleeves up and everyone is fighting for the same thing."