Players are behind me, says Rafa

The Liverpool boss has had to stave off criticism all season as the

Reds fell at the first hurdle in the Champions League, while their

league form has left many saying they are out of the title race.

But in a week when Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina

have issued battle cries to turn things around at Anfield, Benitez

insists his star performers have showed that he has not lost the

dressing room. And the former Valencia tactician believes his side

are ready to kick-start their campaign with three points against

Arsenal on Sunday. “The players are behind me,” the Spaniard said

in The News of the World. “You can see that in some of the big

players – Torres, Gerrard and Reina. They are positive and know

they have to work hard for the club and the fans. “The players know

we are not performing at the level we need. Sometimes they have

doubts about us, but that’s part of the game. “They are focused,

they are working hard and trying to win games. When you lose one or

two it becomes more difficult. “When you are not winning lots of

games in a row confidence can be very low. “We made mistakes in the

Champions League but we can improve. Can we improve in attack by

bringing back Torres? Yes. “Can we improve in attack with Gerrard

fitter? I think so. It will be easier for me, doing more or less

the same things with different kinds of players. “We will be much

better in attack – 100 per cent. “As a manager you have good and

bad moments but we are in a situation where we have to improve.

“Everybody was expecting Liverpool to be top of the table at this

time and to have qualified for the Champions League. We have to be

positive. “In the Premier League we have to try to reduce the gap

and see what happens.”