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Rafa Benitez backing Liverpool players to bounce back against Birmingham

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09 Nov 2009 09:10:15

Rafa Benitez backing Liverpool players to bounce back against Birmingham

Time to deliver: Benitez is confident his Liverpool players can turn things around Rafa Benitez believes his players are angry at the way Liverpool's season has gone, and want to put things right.   They will get a chance to start that process when they face Birmingham at Anfield in a crucial Barclays Premier League match.   Liverpool need to win to start to get their season back on track after a spell of just one victory in eight matches in all competitions.   And the Liverpool manager fully understands the frustration expressed by goalkeeper Jose Reina after last week's 1-1 draw in Lyon, when the Spanish shot-stopper said it was a disgrace the club were struggling to qualify for the Champions League last 16. Benitez said: 'Everyone here, every fan, every player, wants to see the team doing better.   'I have confidence we will improve. Winning a couple of games in a row will boost everyone's confidence.   'Pepe Reina has been very disappointed with what has happened in the Champions League, and said so. But he has a very positive mentality, we both agree.   'We are not stupid, we know we can improve. But we have trained well since we returned from Lyon with Fabio Aurelio, Glen Johnson and Albert Riera all back and working. I could see the difference in the mood of the squad.'   He added: 'They want to play, to be ready and to help in the situation we are in. People have been angry, and they want to change our position.   'It is all about getting a good win. And when your backs are against the wall, you play better and fight better.  'We now must show confidence in our team, our staff, and work harder. The finances are being questioned. But I am assured that we did not budget for a last 16 place this season, only to reach the group stages.   Waiting over: Aquilani could be set for his Premier League bow 'The problem will come next season if we cannot arrest this situation. But the commercial department is earning us more money and the position of the club is very healthy.   'But if we do get into the top four it will be easier. But we are not desperate, I can guarantee we are in a good position and will be in a better position.' Benitez is likely to include £20million Italy international Alberto Aquilani in a home squad for the first time, and expects to have Aurelio, Martin Skrtel and Riera back after injuries.    Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard will have late fitness tests on groin injuries, with the Spanish striker the most likely to play.   Benitez said: 'It could be the time to let the Anfield fans see Aquilani at last. He has trained well. He does not have match fitness, but the only way to improve that is to play him in games.   'We have more players available now, so maybe he can be on the bench and then come on to change the game if necessary. He will certainly be involved.'  Aquilani set for Anfield bow against Birmingham on Monday nightTHE LIST: Football's greatest penalty kings - Nos 50-41Liverpool chief Tom Hicks insists: We don't have to sell Gerrard and TorresLiverpool chief Tom Hicks wants £250m for naming rights to new AnfieldIAN RIDLEY: Can Liverpool really afford NOT to sack £4m-a-year Rafa Benitez?LIVERPOOL FC


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