Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Benitez: Reds struggle not my fault

Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez has rejected suggestions that Liverpool's struggles are partly down to his management, insisting: "It's not my fault, sorry".

The Reds endured a poor season last year as they finished a lowly seventh under Benitez, before the Spaniard departed and was replaced by Roy Hodgson. Liverpool's fortunes have plummeted even further since then, however, with Hodgson gone and replaced by Kenny Dalglish with the team currently four points above the relegation zone.

Benitez, who joined Inter Milan in the summer but left before Christmas, told Five Live Sport: "Christian Purslow (former managing director) and Hodgson signed seven players. Seven players is enough to change a squad, so you can take responsibility for signings in the past but seven players can change a squad. So you cannot continue with this story about the legacy. It's not my fault, sorry."

Benitez acknowledges not all of his moves in the transfer market were successful and added: "I agree, so we know we made some mistakes.

"Sometimes, maybe one player is a good player and after he doesn't settle down, but if you see, we have a net spending of between 10, 12 million.

"So I think that this, for a top side...it's not big money. And still I would say to you that we are not happy with some of the signings but we are really pleased with the majority of them.

"In the team now, Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Lucas Leiva, Fernando Torres, Maxi Rodriquez, Dirk Kuyt, so it's a massive, massive team.

"I am not taking all the credit, I think the team is good, the problem may be the mentality. So I think Kenny can change these things and will hopefully be good for the team."

Benitez believes Dalglish can turn around the club's fortunes.

"They will be much better with Kenny because he knows the club, knows the fans and what they want," he said. "He can talk with the players and they will feel and understand what it means to be Liverpool football players. I feel that Kenny has been a very good appointment and hopefully will be successful."

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