16 October 2007

Benitez: I have every confidence in out of form Sissoko

Sissogol at Sunderland
SissoSCOLD at Marseille

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has revealed he has held talks with midfielder Mohamed Sissoko and urged him to battle for his place in the side.
The Mali international has struggled for form this season and was left out of the Reds' squad for the game with Tottenham after a disappointing display in the Champions League defeat by Marseille.
But Benitez insists he still supports the player, and said: "I see he is giving everything to play well. For our supporters that is the first thing any player must do."
Talking to liverpoolfc.tv, Benitez added: "Momo was a key player when we won 82 points in the Premier League. Now we need to give him time to allow him to regain his confidence.
"I spoke to him after the Marseille game and said 'keep going'. He knows how I work because I managed him when he was 18 at Valencia, where he won the league and UEFA Cup with me.
"He knows I have a lot of confidence in him. I will push him and I will try to improve him."
Liverpool have failed to repeat their fine early-season form in recent weeks and Benitez feels the team must now pull together and show their collective strength ahead of crunch games with Everton, Besiktas and Arsenal.
"Football is a sport of the group, so we win and lose as a team. I was really disappointed and angry after we lost to Marseille, but being angry doesn't change anything.
"You have to analyse why we've played so bad some days and why we were so good at the beginning of the season.
"To play for Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger you need a special mentality and it's the same for us.
"At Liverpool players know they must have quality, must work hard and have a strong mentality. That's the only way to win trophies."
Liverpool could well be without striker Fernando Torres on Saturday in the derby match at Everton after the Spaniard suffered a thigh problem on international duty.
Full-back Fabio Aurelio is battling to overcome a calf strain to face the Toffees.

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