Monday, November 5, 2007

Reds duo confident of vital victory

Rafael Benitez and Jamie Carragher have joined forces to demand a big performance from Liverpool's players and fans when they host Besiktas.

The Reds have to beat the Turkish outfit at Anfield in a make-or-break Champions League Group A match to have any realistic chance of reaching the last 16.
Manager Benitez could have striker Fernando Torres back - with a training session on Tuesday set to seal the Spaniard's fate.
But Benitez said: "I am confident we can win this one.
"That is because I see my players in every training session and I know what they can do, especially at Anfield in front of our own people.
"The players know we need character and quality. We did not expect to lose to Besiktas in Turkey, now we must win this one, and we will be trying hard to do that and we believe we can.
"We know our fans will help us - we must give them a big performance and I know they always give us a big performance too."
Carragher knows Liverpool must not only win tonight, but that victories against Porto and Marseille in the final group matches are also imperative.
He said: "We aim to win all three, but let's concentrate on beating Besiktas first before we start thinking about what we do in the last game in Marseille.
"We must win this one, then move on to beat Porto. That's two home games and our crowd will play a big part, then we will think about what we must do in Marseille.
"We are not worrying too much about what happens if we do not qualify, and I don't even see that as a disaster. It's just football, but if we don't get through we could qualify for the UEFA Cup and we would be confident going into that.
"Obviously we want to be in the Champions League, we want to play against the best and show we can compete against them. But we have done that anyway in the last couple of years or so with two final appearances.
"If it happens we have to get on with it. It would be a disappointment, not a disaster, and it would still be a massive season ahead for us with genuine targets."
Carragher echoed his boss's call for the fans to play their part in what could be another stirring night on Merseyside.
He added: "The atmosphere at Anfield is one of the main reasons we have done so well in the Champions League.
"The manager and the players have played their part but so have our fans, and we need them now.
"They got us to finals in Istanbul and Athens. Now we need them because we all accept we have not done as well as we should have in the first three games in the group.
"The Kop can have a massive part to play now in keeping us in the tournament."

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