Aurelio reveals Rafa’s top priority

Having played under Rafa Benitez for the past 6 years – first as one of the mainstays with his title winning Valencia sides, and now with Liverpool – it’s fair to say that Fabio Aurelio can lay claim more than most to knowing what makes the boss tick.

Now, after his impessive display against Portsmouth last week, topped off with a well-taken goal, Aurelio insists recent criticism levelled at Benitez is nothing new, and that the boss takes it all in his stride.

“The boss had these problems in Spain too, with people saying he makes too many team changes,” said Aurelio.

“He has a personality which doesn’t mind what people think, which is good for the team.

“But he is just the same now. I have been with him a long time so I know his methods are like that – he always does what is best for the team, that is his priority.

“We can fight for the title, and we can win the title. If we do then the boss will be the best coach ever. But if he doesn’t people will try to say it is because of squad rotation.

“The results in football are always the most important thing and we got a good result at Portsmouth. We were very happy with the result.

“People don’t understand the changes that he made last week, but he knows how the players are feeling. He knows who is tired and who is not, and he knows how to use his squad in the best way.

“We know when he selects his team for a game, it will be the best players at that moment to do the job. We are with him.

“If we had lost the game it would have been a terrible two weeks to be here, with no game. But we did a job and won the game and put ourselves in a very good position.”

Aurelio admits he can’t explain why the Reds boss comes under fire for rotating his squad and said: “It is the same with the other big teams. They all have big squads with good players, so I don’t understand this.

“We are in a good position in the title race and in the Champions League, so maybe it’s people trying to find weak points to try to stop us or create trouble. But we are used to this happening now.

“We have our job to do and we have to be focused on that and not what other people are talking about.”