Tuesday 25th April 2006


Benitez press conference

Rafa Benitez has been speaking at a press conference ahead of tomorrow's Premiership clash with West Ham.

The semi-final victory against champions-elect Chelsea at the weekend increased the feelgood factor around Anfield. Benitez is content with his lot.

The Liverpool boss said: "I am happy here and want to win more trophies.

"I have three more years (on his contract). To have four, five or six years is not a problem now.

"The most important thing at the moment is to focus on my job and my club.

"We are happy with our progress. We are a good team and are showing we can compete with the top sides.

"It is not going to be easy finishing second but we will try until the end."

Benitez believes his players will be fully motivated.

He said: "They know these games are important for them. For some players they have to play well if they are to be ready for the World Cup.

"For others they know we want to win as many points as possible.

"Certainly there is more confidence in the squad after beating Chelsea. One of the things I like to see is the competitiveness between players and we have that."

Harry Kewell is set to become a key player in the World Cup for Australia after reinventing himself this season.

The £5million buy maintained his recent impressive form with a starring role in the victory against Chelsea.

Benitez said: "There are some players who have played well the whole season.

"Harry is playing at a high level. He has a lot of confidence and that is good for the team.

"You can give the ball to him and he can beat players. He gives us another option."

Benitez is ready to freshen his side up and reinstate Robbie Fowler.

The former Manchester City striker was ruled out of the weekend match as he was cup-tied.

Benitez said: "Maybe we will rest some of the squad. I will need to check during training which players are fitter than others.

"It is not easy as some players are playing a lot of games and we have another one on Saturday (against Aston Villa)."

Benitez expects a difficult game at Upton Park.

"West Ham are a very good team, " he said.

"They seem to have a good spirit and a clear idea of what to do during games.

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