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No guarantees from Rafa

No guarantees from Rafa
Wednesday Sep 26 2007 09:35

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez insists he cannot guarantee that Fernando Torres will be in the starting line-up for this weekend's Premier League game against Wigan Athletic even though the Spanish striker grabbed a hat-trick in the Carling Cup third round win at Reading.

Benitez had been criticised for leaving the former Atletico Madrid star on the substitute's bench for the recent Premier League stalemates with Birmingham City and Portsmouth.

However, he remains unrepentant despite Torres' fine form in the 4-2 victory at the Madejski Stadium.

Benitez said after the win: "Will Torres start the next game? We will see. I cannot guarantee anything because I like to see my strikers during the week.

"We have four strikers and if I say now that he will play, it will be easy for Wigan.

"I am only thinking about my team. Our supporters are very clever, they know that I am trying to do the best for the team.

"Fernando knows why he was left out. It was because of space. I didn't need to explain it too much. All the players want to play in every game.

"If you say to me that Dirk Kuyt is a worse striker or Peter Crouch is a worse striker or Andriy Voronin is a worse striker then I would play Torres every game.

"But because we have very good strikers, I like to choose the strikers for every game and if it is necessary to change I will change.

"I am thinking about the best for my team. I think it was a terrific game for Fernando. But the team worked really hard and it was a very difficult game.

"We knew it could be like that but with the space, Fernando is really dangerous.

"But the rest of the team showed real character as well as Fernando. That is the key for me because you can play with one or two strikers working hard but other players not doing their jobs. But every player did a fantastic job."


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