IAN RUSH: Liverpool FC require strong minds and big men
THE feelgood factor after a great win over United has gone; the crisis headlines are back and the daggers are out for Rafa Benitez. Now Liverpool face a crucial game which should they lose it, will mean the end of the road in the Champions League. I'm sorry if it sounds familiar but there just is no other option but for people to keep sticking together - and for players to show they're big enough to get us out of here. Tomorrow in France the Reds will need all that fighting spirit that was on display against United. Everybody is hurting again but the players have simply got to pick themselves up and find the mental strength you need as a Liverpool player to get through this. Rafa Benitez and his backroom staff must do everything they can to instill that belief and confidence in the players and they'll be doing that I'm sure. They'll know they should have beaten Lyon at Anfield two weeks ago, never mind lose to them. That game just went a bit flat and Lyon sensed their chance to get back into it. But after that they went and lost 4-1 in their league, so they're no worldbeaters. And we can definitely go and beat them tomorrow. Yes, it's a very rough run of results right now and it's very painful for the fans too. But I honestly believe things aren't as bad as some would have it. Everyone goes on about Arsenal's youngsters but I thought ours were terrific against them in the Carling Cup and more than a bit unlucky to lose. And against Fulham on Saturday we started very well and had we got the first goal, it would probably have been a very different story. But after equalising we did not go on and dominate, as we should have done. The team have got to be stronger than this because they are better than this. They've also got to add more concentration to the commitment and sheer self-belief that anyone good enough to wear that Liverpool shirt must display, week in, week out. It's hard to believe we might not make it to the knockout stages of the Champions League but no one can afford to go into the Lyon match thinking like that. Because Liverpool players don't buckle under pressure. They're bigger men than that - and they're better players than that.
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