Rafa in for the long race

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has admitted that whatever the result of this Sunday’s crucial Premier League clash against Manchester City, the race for fourth place will be a long and arduous journey.

Man City are level on points with fourth placed Reds, but have two games in hand and victory at the Eastlands this Sunday could potentially see Man City exploit a large lead over Benitez’s men.

Benitez told the club’s official web site, “City have two games in hand, and that’s important – but they have to win them. We just need to concentrate on the next game, which is against them and will be a massive game.

“Still I have the same idea – it will be a long race and we have to keep going.

“It’s a very important game but even if we win we’ll have to keep winning games.”

Benitez added that his side’s experience will stand them in good stead, and looked forward to the return of several key players from injury for the final stage of the season.

“With the experience we have we know to take one game at a time. You cannot waste too much time because you can’t control other games.

“We have two or three very difficult games on paper but every game is tough in the Premier League.

“It’s important to have all the squad available, not just because players like Torres and Yossi and Johnson are important – but also for the competition in each position.”