RAFA: WE HAVE A FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY
Paul Eaton 30 January 2009
Rafael Benitez has shrugged off his side's recent indifferent form by insisting they still have a 'fantastic opportunity' to claim this season's title.
Although three successive league draws have seen the Reds relinquish top spot to rivals Manchester United, the manager remains confident his players will soon rediscover the winning habit and keep in the hunt to end their long wait for a league title.
"The players know that, after a lot of years talking about being contenders, this is a fantastic opportunity so they are really together and you can see the mentality of all of them," he said. "The training sessions over the past two weeks have been very good.
"This season, from the beginning we were so good, we were scoring goals and winning games and everyone could see that it was an opportunity for us.
"People were saying, 'Maybe it'll be this year' so we have created a lot of the expectation ourselves. But we are still in this position so everybody knows that we have to do our best.
"Clearly we have to improve in attack. We have plenty of control and plenty of possession, but we have to create chances and take them. This is one area we can clearly improve on and we are trying to improve.
"We are in the best position that the team or club has been in for the last 15 years or something so we have to be positive and think about the positives, concentrate on Chelsea."
The Reds boss also believes that the return to form of some key players could give his Liverpool charges the impetus to turn around their recent string of Premier League draws.
"We have some good options now," added Benitez.
"We have Skrtel and Mascherano, who have been much better in the last few games. Agger is fit again and Torres is coming back too.
"These are good options for us because they are good players who can play at a very good level and if they are fit we will have a strong squad for the rest of the season.
"Skrtel was a very nice surprise for us because in only his second game back against Everton he was playing at the same level as he was before. They are all positive additions for us."