Thursday 1st December 2005


Rafa is clearly pleased with his players at the moment, after finally starting to show signs of confidence and consistency in the last seven matches.

He said after last nights game: "I think you can see that the team is playing well and controlling games, and we now have the consistency that we need. We scored goals and kept another clean sheet. The most important thing now is to keep going and doing the same things. We had some chances and we needed to finish them and score a third. A third goal would have made it easier. We need to learn to kill games off."

"Losing Momo made life difficult for us and he has to learn. I was talking to him throughout the game, telling him to be careful with his tackling and not to go to ground, but fortunately for us it is easier to learn these things when you have won. Going down to 10 men was the worst thing but we worked hard, it was more difficult towards the end but we played well in defence."

When asked if Cisse was left out of the squad for disciplinary reasons, Benitez is clearly keeping things in house.

"No. Always I say the same - when a player is playing, then other players cannot play. Why was he not playing? Because [Peter] Crouch and [Fernando] Morientes were playing. There is no problem, no reason, only a big squad and a lot of games. If for example Sinama is not playing, then people ask why, so I know why people have asked [about Cisse]. But he was just rested. I think he will be in the squad for our next games."

The Editor