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Let’s show Manchester United they’re right to fear us

Let’s show Manchester United they’re right to fear us

Aug 24 2007

by Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo

Rafa Benitez

RAFA BENITEZ says Manchester United’s refusal to sell Gabriel Heinze to their bitterest rivals is the biggest signal yet Liverpool are now regarded as genuine title challengers.

And now the manager wants his players to take the club’s frustrations onto the park, channelling their energy in a positive way to prove United’s fears of an Anfield revival correct.

United used the argument during the Premier League hearing that they wouldn’t sell their players to clubs they regarded threats to their domestic supremacy.

Amid the disappointment of losing the case, Benitez accepts this was still a back-handed compliment.

“They have shown us they think we are stronger now because they didn’t want us to sign a very good player,” said Benitez.

“Now we have to show them they’re right and do everything we can to be even stronger in the future.

“This week has been a difficult week for us. We’ve had problems on and off the pitch and we know the reasons why. But now we know we can’t change things so have to be positive moving forward and think about football, particularly in our preparations for Sunderland, and then in all our other games.

“When you have a week like we’ve had, sometimes you need to aim to double your standards, and if you get halfway there you’ve still made a big improvement.”

Benitez is backing his midfielders to cope with the likely absence of skipper Steven Gerrard in the North East.

Momo Sissoko and Javier Mascherano will compete for central roles, with the Argentinian favourite to get the nod.

Benitez said: “Steve is a key player for us, but we have a lot of others to choose from. We have a lot of really good midfielders here. I need to check their condition before I decide what to do, but we know they are capable of doing a good job for us.

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