Rafael Benitez says he is here to fight for Liverpool FC ahead of Everton derby

27 November 2009 03:40
RAFA BENITEZ today launched an impassioned defence of his reign as Liverpool manager and insisted he has no intention of walking away.

The Reds boss has come under severe criticism after overseeing a run of just two wins in the last 11 matches, a sequence that has led them to tumble out of the Champions League and Carling Cup and lose pace in the Premier League.

Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Macromedia's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.Benitez, though, has remained upbeat throughout and this afternoon at Melwood made it clear he will not bow to his detractors, revealing he has turned down several offers to manage other clubs in order to "fight" for Liverpool.

It is no secret Real Madrid have courted Benitez on numerous occasions and, with their current coach Manuel Pelligrini coming under fire after a string of indifferent results, the powers that be at the Bernabeu are sure to be keeping an eye on affairs at Anfield.

But Benitez, whose side face local rivals Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, has made it unequivocally clear he intends to remain on Merseyside in order to bring success to the club and the supporters who have continued to back him.

"When I decided to stay here this year, I knew it could be a difficult season as a lot of things could happen," said Benitez, who put pen to paper on a five-year deal in March.

"But I decided to stay because I wanted to.

"I was a Real Madrid fan. If you know Agustin, you know Garcia Cortez, Garcia Navajas, Sabido, Camacho, Del Bosque, Steilike, Angel, Cunningham, Juanito, Santillana

"This was the team that played the European Cup final against Liverpool in 1981.

"I was a Real Madrid fan and I was a Real Madrid player at this time. But I decided to stay as I like the city, I like the fans, I like the life here, the passion in the Premier League.

"Why am I telling you this?

"Because when I decided to stay, I wanted to fight for this club.

"I signed a five-year deal. Sometimes there are good moments, sometimes there are bad moments but still I will fight.

"So we will play the Europa League and that is our target. We will play against Everton and that is our target.

"We will fight and we will try to win. If we win I will be happier if we cannot, we will fight."

Benitez has not always seen eye-to-eye with club owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett but they have offered their support during this run and he now has a cordial, working relationship with the club's new Managing Director, Christian Purslow.

Source: Liverpool_Echo