Skrtel 'glad' Rafa remains the gaffer
Last season's Premier League runners-up have seen this season's quest for honours nosedive into the abyss leaving a top-four finish and a consolation Europa League trophy on offer in an otherwise forgettable campaign for the Anfield faithful. The Merseysiders' adopted ambitions have stemmed from a record-breaking woeful run which saw them exit all major cup competitions and have their domestic title hopes ripped into shreds by November. Inevitably, Liverpool boss Benitez has faced a barrage of criticism from the media and the Spaniard's tenure has been called into question with fierce negativity. But the former Valencia man has defiantly guaranteed a Champions League berth next year despite strong competition from Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa for the fourth-placed finish, and Skrtel has voiced his delight that his manager is still at the helm to make good on his promises. The Slovakian centre-back told Deniksport: "We were hit by some strange crisis. "We were very affected by the injuries to our key players, were losing points at the late stages of some fixtures and were not playing well - it all struck us altogether. "I believe those days are behind us now and that everything has turned for the better with the win over Tottenham and that it will only get better and better. We have re-gained some self-confidence and will go higher in the table." On the speculation of Benitez's position at the club, Skrtel added: "It has been mulled over and over in the papers that he should go, but for me to sack the coach is only the last option and, personally, I am glad that the club management have not taken this option. "They have put confidence in him, a new chance and, I will be repeating myself, I believe we have got ourselves from the worst already." Skrtel is confident Liverpool will bring in another face before the transfer deadline in five days time. "A lot of players have been mentioned in the press but we will see if any deal is made," said the Slovak, who has been looking onwards at the Reds' recent pursuit of Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones. "So far only Maxi Rodriguez from Atletico has come and I believe it has not been the last signing."