Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has revealed that he is looking to hold peace talks with club owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to sort out the recent tension between himself and American tycoons.
Despite warnings to keep his mouth shut, Benitez recently publicly displayed his frustration at not being able to discuss possible future transfers until Hicks and Gillett return to England in mid-December.
This led to a flurry of speculation questioning whether the Spainard’s days at Anfield are numbered, followed by a passionate protest from the fans warning the owners Rafa must stay.
After guiding the Reds to a 4-1 victory over FC Porto in the Champions League last night, Benitez is now looking to make up with Gillett and Hicks. He says, “I don’t have any personal problems with the owners. I’m sure we will talk and they will understand and I will understand their ideas.”
“My relationship with them was good before and now we need to talk about what the problem was.”
Meanwhile striker Fernando Torres, who bagged two goals in last night’s win, has leapt to Benitez’s defence, hailing him as “one of the greats”.
He told the Liverpool Echo, “I’m really impressed at how much he’s loved by the people, above anything else, even the players.
“What I saw at Anfield was really impressive ‘“ the atmosphere was amazing. The people here really get behind the team when we need their backing most.
“It was great for those that had never enjoyed a night like this before and especially for Benitez because we’ve seen that the supporters are really behind him.
“I think Benitez is more than a manager. He’s one of the greats in their history.”
There was much love in the Liverpool camp today as Yossi Benayoun was also singing praises ‘“ of Torres.
The Israeli winger told the club’s official web site, “He is an excellent player. He scored great goals against Porto. The second goal was the goal of a big striker ‘“ power, ability and, of course, a nice finish.”
Peter Crouch is warning players not to get complacent following two high-scoring Champions League victories.
The Reds beat Porto 4-1 last night and Besiktas 8-0 three weeks earlier meaning they must beat Marseille away in their final group game in two weeks time to qualify for the next stage of the competition.
The England international striker, who came off the bench to scored the Reds’ fourth last night, says, “We have done two-thirds of the job, now we have to finish it off.
“At the start of the season I certainly would not have envisaged there was a possibility I could miss out on the European Championships and the knockout stages of the Champions League.
“We still have a chance to get to the knockout stages with Liverpool. That is the only thing we can concentrate on now.”
And tickets for Liverpool vs Manchester United to be played on 16 December at Anfield will now go on sale to fans with either this season’s Derby County or Tottenham Hotspur Premier League games on their fancard. Tickets for qualifying fans go on sale on December 3rd. More details can be found here.