Rafa Benitez on the rack: Future of Liverpool boss hinges on next three matches

02 November 2009 08:46
Rafa Benitez's future at Liverpool will be determined over their next three games amid growing concern from potential investors.

Liverpool's defeat at Fulham on Saturday was the sixth in their last seven matches - the worst sequence of results for more than 50 years. 

Under fire: Rafa Benitez shows the strain as Liverpool slip to another defeat

And Benitez takes his crisis-hit squad to Lyon on Wednesday knowing defeat could finish their Champions League campaign.

A failure to win there will put more pressure on their unpopular American owners to find new investment with the financial blow of an early European exit costing as much as £15million for a club already £250m in debt.

The desperate situation would present Benitez with a challenge as daunting as any since he left Valencia for Merseyside in the summer of 2004.

And although the contract he signed earlier this year would guarantee him a £20m pay-off - a seemingly prohibitive figure in the current circumstances - pressure could be put on partners Tom Hicks and George Gillett for change from potential investors eager to take the club forward.

Red mist: Jamie Carragher looks stunned as referee Lee Mason shows him the red card.

The Americans and managing director Christian Purslow will take a very close look at the next three matches against Lyon, Birmingham and Manchester City before making what could be a very big decision.

Asked about his future, Benitez would only reply: 'My future is against Lyon.'

The manager will meet his staff today for an inquest into the 3-1 defeat at Fulham, when Liverpool finished with nine men after Philipp Degen and Jamie Carragher were sent off.

Carragher said: 'These are tough times - and it hurts. We made up for a few things last week by beating Manchester United and then we have had two defeats since and we have just got to turn it around.

'We have got to sort this out with the management and get back on the training pitch because Lyon is another massive game.'

Better news for Liverpool came last night when top scorer Fernando Torres indicated he would be fit for Lyon, though he will be carefully monitored in training.

Full back Glen Johnson also faces a late fitness check, but captain Steven Gerrard has no real chance of overcoming his groin injury before Wednesday.

 The Jamie Redknapp report, extra: Liverpool in crisis! Fans faith in Rafa Benitez will not last foreverFulham 3 Liverpool 1: On the brink! Reds in need of Fernando Torres to avoid trophy wipeoutGraham Poll's verdict on the nine Premier League red cardsLiverpool boss Rafa Benitez claims you don't have to win trophies to be a successLIVERPOOL FC

Source: Daily_Mail

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