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Yossi Benayoun: I’ve still got a long way to go at Anfield

Yossi Benayoun: I’ve still got a long way to go at Anfield

Oct 1 2007

by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo

YOSSI BENAYOUN scored two Goal of the Month contenders inside four days this week . . . but is still trying to prove himself at Anfield.

The Israeli schemer followed up his stunning strike at Reading last week with a wonderfully crafted matchwinner at Wigan on Saturday.

But he said afterwards he was still trying to prove that he is good enough to rub shoulders with a world class squad of players.

“It is a great squad and I can’t say I deserve to play in this game or this game, because we have a lot of great players.

“For me the most important thing when I’m on the pitch, whether it’s for 10 minutes or from the start, is to prove that I’m good enough to try to do the things I was lucky enough to do this week.

“We have to respect the decision of the manager. We have a lot of great players so we just have to wait for our chance.

“I am very happy. Of course I’m very happy tonight. I will expect now to go on every game 20 minutes from the end and score!

“The manager didn’t tell me to go on and get a goal. He just said go on and show what you know, what we expect from you, and I tried to do my best. This time it went well.

“I’ve been lucky enough to score twice this week, but for me the most important thing when I’m on the pitch is to work hard for the rest of the team. The goal is a bonus for me.”

Benayoun admitted that it had been a frustrating afternoon until his 75th minute moment of brilliance.

Introduced after 55 minutes for Fabio Aurelio, he explained: “It was a bit frustrating for us until the goal. We missed two or three chances in the first half, but we have a lot of confidence and a lot of quality players.

“We knew that we would get another chance, so it was important to take one and get the three points.

“The goal was just instinct really after a great ball from Pennant, but it was a great moment for me.”

Benayoun also had some words of sympathy for Fernando Torres, who followed up his midweek hat-trick with an unproductive afternoon in front of goal.

“Fernando had a few chances today and had some bad luck, but he is a big player,” added Benayoun.

“We are a team so it doesn’t matter if it’s about Torres or about somebody else. We have to respect the decision of the manager.

“It’s easy for people from outside to say we drew 0-0 against Birmingham because of Fernando not playing, but who’s to say we would have won had he played?

“We have to respect every decision and be ready to play every game and also ready to sit out. This is Liverpool.”

Benayoun’s goal underlined the words of his manager last week, who said that he believed the Israeli international could add creative spark in midfield and help unlock packed defences.

“Yes the manager said some nice things about me last week. If he said them they must be true! But really he brought me here for a reason, but I don’t really like to talk about myself.

“Hopefully I can provide these things but I think we have a lot of players who can do it, a lot of quality players.

“Pennant, Babel, Fernando, Steven Gerrard . . . they are players who can win the game in one moment.

“We have a stronger squad this season, better players like Babel, like Voronin, Torres. They have all made the squad stronger and hopefully we will continue to improve from game to game, because we want to win trophies this season.”

Reds boss Benitez said: “I brought him here for these kind of games.

“When you are trying to find a solution, you need players of creativity and quality, and Yossi gives us that.

“I am not saying he will start every game on the bench, it’s just that in this instance I wanted to do different things.

“Yossi played the other night (in the Carling Cup against Reading) and I needed fresh legs, so I started with (Jermaine) Pennant.

“We created some chances and you need to take them if you want an open game. Because we didn’t we needed to bring on players with different skills and Yossi was good, it was perfect.”


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