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Rafa issues Torres warning

16 Nov 2008 - 13:46:36

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has warned Fernando Torres that he will have to fight to regain his starting spot.

The Spain striker was dropped to the bench for Saturday's 2-0 win at Bolton Wanderers after failing to impress Benitez on his return from a hamstring injury during the midweek Carling Cup defeat to Tottenham.

Torres was expected to start at the Reebok Stadium but Benitez claimed the Spain hot-shot will have to prove he deserves to replace either Robbie Keane or Dirk Kuyt in his pecking order.

"The players have to compete for their positions in the side - be it Torres or anyone else," he warned.

"Torres has to improve. If he does and he is fit then I will decide what to do.

"I did not have to explain to Fernando why he was not playing, it was very clear. The team had been playing well and he has to compete for his position.

"He played well when he came on, but then other players who come on as substitute also did well.

"That is the key if you want to have a winning mentality and a winning squad."

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