Benitez expects Torres to get back on track
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has backed Spain striker Fernando Torres to rediscover his goal touch in Saturday’s match at West Ham.sports Updated: Sep 18, 2009 21:19 IST
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has backed Spain striker Fernando Torres to rediscover his goal touch in Saturday’s match at West Ham.
Torres admitted on Friday that he is playing at less than 100 percent after a draining close-season spent representing his country at the Confederations Cup.
The former Atletico Madrid star has scored three times in Liverpool’s six matches so far this season, but even Benitez concedes his performances have been lacklustre at times.
“Fernando is not at his best, although he is trying very hard. But he can play better and he knows this. That is positive because he realises and I am confident in him,” Benitez said on Friday.
“He is much more positive, he is working with the rest of the players and creating space for them. We will soon see the very best from him.
“Our players are starting to find their form, Dirk Kuyt is scoring, Yossi Benayoun is scoring, and we have started well in Europe.
“It is only a matter of time before Fernando starts to score more regularly.
“We have plenty of options now, most of our players are fit so the choice is good for me when you have more players available.
“When our top scorer starts scoring more regularly, then we will have a very strong side to put into any game.
“But I am not worried about Fernando. He was very positive in the Champions League match (against Debrecen), making space and chances for others, and if he can keep doing that will be fine for me.”
After losing two of their first three Premier League matches, Liverpool have won three games in a row in all competitions.
Another win at West Ham is essential to keep in touch with the pace-setters Chelsea, but Benitez has no intention of panicking whatever the result in east London.
“I am happier with the way things have improved. You can see from the mood in training sessions that the players have more confidence because they know we are starting to perform well again,” Benitez said.
“The players were surprised by what happened at the beginning of the season, but there was so much expectation around at the time.
“People were saying we were going to win the title. Then we lost two games, as many as we lost all last season in the league, and some people - outside the club - were starting to panic.
“It was not easy for the fans at the time, and not easy for the staff and the players. But we were intent on sending out the right message and to getting over that opening spell quickly.
“We needed to show character and experience.