31 December 2007

Benitez: I haven't given up

Published: Today

RAFA BENITEZ refused to throw in the towel on Liverpool’s title hopes — even though they are 10 points behind leaders Arsenal.
The Reds lost further ground in the Premier League race as they drew a blank against Manchester City at Eastlands.
But Benitez insisted: “Three games ago people were saying it was impossible for us to win the league — then two games later we were closer.
“We are 10 points behind the top with a game in hand but if we play like we did today we will win a lot of games.
"I don’t look at the table too much because I am busy analysing every game. We have one more point and we can beat anyone.
“So now we have to think about beating Wigan on Wednesday and after that we need to keep on winning.”
Liverpool showed little ambition in the first half but came storming forward after the break in search of a winner.
And Benitez dismissed suggestions his team should have been more positive.
He added: “We played this game to win and we created chances. If you cannot win then you must look to the positives.
“We played well against a team that is doing well at home and we deserved to win it, so there is no point being negative.”
By the time the Reds host Wigan on Wednesday the transfer window will have reopened and Benitez is hoping he will be bringing in new players.
He said: “We are working and trying to find some solutions.
“We are close with some players but until they put pen-to-paper we must keep working with those we have.
“We are confident we can sign the right players for the right price. I have to think about now and also the future.”
Sven Goran Eriksson saw his City team keep their unbeaten home record intact and hopes they could still snatch a top-four place.
The former England manager said: “I don’t know if the top four is possible but we will fight for it — even though we are not the favourites.
“The favourites are the four big ones as usual but it is a big target for the club. We have done quite well against them — apart from Chelsea away.
“I like to think there is a big five — like in the jungle. For us to be close to them is very good.
“I can’t be disappointed because we stood up to Liverpool.
“Richard Dunne was extremely good, he was everywhere. He’s our captain and he showed us the way.”

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