Mascherano: “Blame players, not Rafa”

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Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has defender under-fire manager Rafa Benitez after a poor run of form.

The Reds lost their fourth consecutive game last night as they went down 2-1 to Lyon in the Champions League at Anfield.

With the pressure mounting on Benitez, Mascherano says it is the players who are to blame, will take responsibility and must improve their performances.

“It is easy for everyone to blame the manager and not the players,” he said.

“But the truth is that it is us out there on the pitch, the players. If we play badly it is not the manager’s fault, it is ours and we must take the responsibility.

“The manager can tell us how to play but on the pitch it is down to the players. We need to keep going and to work harder.

“I do not believe that Sunday’s league game with Manchester United will decide our season, but it is too early to say that. But for our confidence a win will be a massive boost.

“If we win on Sunday it will be a totally different Monday. We are not thinking about losing to United, we have done it before – twice last season – and we must do that again.”

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