Aquilani issues Reds rallying cry
Rafael Benitez's star duo face a combined eight weeks absence as Liverpool's season of woe continues to hit new heights, with Saturday's opponents Stoke preparing to add to it. But Aquilani, who has struggled to make an impact since his reported £20million move from Roma, insists the squad cannot afford to let the blow affect their game ahead of the Britannia trip. "We don't think, 'We haven't got these players, we've lost already'," he told the club's official website. "It is true they (Torres and Gerrard) are among the best players in the world, but we have to be focused and try to play without them. "It's very hard for us at the moment but we have to carry on, keep trying. The game this weekend is very, very important for us, and we have to do something to ensure we finish in the top four. "This season is not going as well as we'd like but if we're focused we can play well. We have won the last two games in the league and now Stoke is important, very important. "They have some difficult tactics like the long throws. The have tall players and get them in the box for free-kicks. It's important for us to remain focused if and when they use these tactics." New signing Maxi Rodriguez, who scored a wonder goal for Argentina against Mexico at the 2006 World Cup, could be drafted in at the Britannia Stadium and Aquilani has welcomed the move. "He is an important player who can help us - he can help the team," said the Italian. "I know him as a player but haven't played against him. I remember him playing for Argentina. We are going through a difficult time but if we work together we can get through it."