Benitez and Kuyt hoping Reds shine

The Reds boss admits the club need major investment to force their

way back amongst the Premier League title contenders after a

disappointing campaign. The poor state of Liverpool’s finances –

and the consequent lack of transfer funds – has been a recurring

issue over the past two years. Benitez hopes winning the Europa

League and qualifying for next season’s Champions League will draw

in potential new investors. He said: “We have to invest. If we want

to move forward we need money, we need investors, because the

market is very expensive. “The players are working very hard, you

cannot ask for more from them, but we have to stick together now,

try to progress in the Europa League and try to finish fourth in

the Premier League. “Working hard at the moment is the only way we

can show that we want to progress. “It is clear if we are winning

trophies it is easier for anyone. “We have been in the Champions

League for six years in a row. Thanks to this the club still has

the big name it has had in the past. “We are bringing in a lot of

money playing in Europe. We want to be there and then it will be

easier for investors to see the club has an opportunity.”

Liverpool’s chances of finishing fourth in the Premier League are

looking increasingly slim. They are sixth in the table, four points

adrift of that crucial Champions League-qualifying position, having

played a game more. That leaves the Europa League as their best

hope of salvaging something from the season, but they still face a

tough task to turn around their quarter-final against Benfica.

Liverpool go into the second leg at Anfield trailing 2-1 after

defeat in Lisbon last week. Kuyt said: “I think we have a really

good chance to get through. It will be a big European night. “The

players are looking forward to a big chance to win a trophy this

season. “We will just try to finish the season successfully. If we

win the Europa League and our five Premier League games – that is

our target – we will see what happens. “The most important thing at

this moment in time is just to qualify tonight.” Star striker

Fernando Torres is fit to lead the line after his controversial

substitution in Sunday’s draw at Birmingham. Benitez was criticised

for removing his top scorer but the Spain international was later

seen with an ice pack on his knee. The manager again defended his

decision to remove Torres with the score 1-1 when asked again. He

said: “If a big club like Liverpool depends on one substitution, I

think something is wrong. “Fans know which was the situation.

Everyone can make mistakes but still the big picture is the big

picture. “The future of the club is more than one substitution and

the future of the club is to win a game against Benfica.”