Lucas will continue to improve - Liverpool FC boss Rafa Benitez

07 November 2009 04:00
Liverpool FC suffered no bad Luc story - Benitez

THE shrill of Franck de Bleeckere's final whistle had barely subsided when the phone-ins started, looking to apportion blame for Liverpool's Champions League struggles.

Predictably, the names were the same. Angry of Anfield and Worried of Woolton all knew which players were culpable for stopping Liverpool securing a win in Lyon which would have kept them in control of their European destiny.

It was, of course, easy to see where many were coming from on certain individuals; yet that some felt Lucas should be included in the rogue's gallery which was being assembled was a source of utter bewilderment to Rafa Benitez.

Though it is true to say Lucas missed a glorious chance to give Liverpool the lead midway through the second half in the Stade Gerland, it was the only blot on an otherwise spotless copybook.

Neat and tidy in possession, diligent in his work and desperate to help the Reds get back on course, Lucas played with a confidence that suggests he is now starting to get fully attuned to the Liverpool way of life.

While it is improbable he will ever enjoy mass popularity on the terraces, that is unlikely to ever cause Benitez to lose sleep, especially if the Brazilian's form continues to move on upward trajectory, as has been the case for most of this season.

An impressive figure in the win over Manchester United last month - his efforts glossed when he put David Ngog through to score the crucial second - Lucas again showed he is coming of age in France earlier this week.

Lucas will be part of the side that faces Birmingham City at Anfield on Monday evening and Benitez is backing the man he signed from Gremio in 2007 to build on recent efforts with another solid performance.

'When we played Manchester United, some people came up to me and said Lucas was really good,' said Benitez, clearly shocked that some people were surprised his efforts.

'But when you analyse the situation, you will see that he is a young player who came to a big club like ours. It was different to anything he had ever known and he had no other option but to adapt.

Source: Liverpool_Echo

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