My Soccer World

Football / Carling Cup: Benitez Focuses On Title Race After Battering

Posted on: November 14, 2008

LONDON: Rafa Benitez insisted his ambitions for Liverpool stretch further than the Carling Cup after seeing his makeshift side thrashed 4-2 at Tottenham in the fourth round.

The Spaniard made 10 changes to the team which had flattened West Bromwich Albion the previous weekend, handing rare starts to the likes of Daniel Ngog, Damien Plessis and Lucas, but the policy backfired as Spurs ran riot at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

It was a meek way for Liverpool’s interest in this tournament — which they have won more regularly than any other side — to end but Benitez, while quietly fuming at the manner of his team’s performance, maintained his priority remains the Premier League and Champions League.

“You have to use the players in this competition,” he said. “You can’t play all the players every game — people need to rest. The guys we picked are internationals, they have quality but we didn’t play well.

“When you have two or three not playing well, it’s hard for the others to keep their levels high. But the youngsters need to play more games like this, win some and lose them, and gain experience that way.
“I am very disappointed with the result and how we played but if the team go to Bolton on Saturday in the league and win, we will be at the top of the table and everyone will be talking about our priorities, which are the league and the Champions League.”

The only bright point of an otherwise forgettable night for Benitez was a 55-minute cameo from Fernando Torres.

For Harry Redknapp, this thumping win maintained the momentum generated by his appointment last month. — AFP

New Straits Times

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