Alonso the latest to back Rafa Benitez

Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso says he has great respect for Reds boss Rafa Benitez and is confident the Spaniard can pull the team out of it’s current slump in form.

The Reds have won just one of their last eight games, fallen to sixth place in the Premier League, have been knocked out of the Carling Cup and are staring Champions League elimination in the face.

But Alonso, who left Anfield for Real Madrid in August in a £30million move, has played down suggestions Benitez should be sacked.

He told The Times, “It’s not the Liverpool way to sack a manager after a few bad results early in the season. He is the right man for the club. It wouldn’t be a good decision to change the manager. He’s a great manager.”

“I still have great respect for him. I’m very grateful to him for the five great years I had at Liverpool.

“Of course the situation isn’t the best right now, but he knows how to turn it around.”