Spurs win would be monster - Masch
The Reds have endured a dismal first half to the season - and it all started with a 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane in their opening Premier League match. Mascherano is expecting another difficult game when Spurs travel to Anfield but he would prefer to think of the positives. Liverpool remain in the hunt for a top-four spot and beating Harry Redknapp's men would boost their chances of qualifying for the Champions League. "Tottenham is an important game for us because we can reduce the gap to fourth," Mascherano told Liverpool's official website. "We'll play at Anfield with all the supporters behind us and this support is really important at the moment. "They have some very good attacking players, so it'll be difficult to stop them. But we've done it before. "This will be totally different to the first game because we're at home and this time we need to win. It will be really difficult for them. "We cannot think about the past - we have to think in the present. Tottenham is the present and we have to win." Reds manager Rafa Benitez has come under considerable pressure in recent weeks but Mascherano admitted after Saturday's draw with Stoke that the players had to take their share of the blame. The Argentine is confident Liverpool can turn the corner and he has again called for the critics to stop singling out Benitez. "It's easier for them to criticise one manager than 20 players," he said. "When the team is not playing well, the press criticises the manager and not the players, but we don't have to pay too much attention. "We have to work, continue training hard and show all our things on the pitch. "You have to realise that when we are playing like this, people will criticise Rafa, but we are a top side. We need to think about football and try not to worry too much. "The mentality among all of us is really good and we want to take Liverpool to the place it deserves to be."