Friday, January 04, 2008

Rafa Benitez Remains Bullish Over Title Chances

Rafael Benitez denies his Liverpool side are out of the Premier league title race despite a dismal home draw with Wigan Athletic on Wednesday which saw them slip out of the top four.

Liverpool led 1-0 through Fernando Torres' 16th goal of the season until 11 minutes from time when Titus Bramble grabbed a shock equaliser for Wigan.

"I do not think there is a lack of confidence, we need more luck and to score the chances we are creating," Benitez said. "We are creating chances but not taking them. One more would have killed the game. We deserved more than we got. Their keeper [Chris Kirkland] made some very good saves, but we still made enough chances to have won the game.

"The league table is looking difficult, we need to reduce that gap but we must not start to look at the table too much, just keep going and keep creating chances.

"We can reduce the gap, but it is best not to talk about it, just go out and score the goals we are missing."

Two league wins in their last six matches and a shocking home record [they have dropped 13 points in 10 matches at Anfield] has seen Liverpool fall 12 points behind leaders Arsenal, still with a game in hand, but facing tough away games at the Emirates, Manchester United and Chelsea.

"It is difficult to explain why our home form is not good," Benitez said. "We are controlling all the games, we are passing the ball well, controlling almost everything. But we paid for one mistake.

"There is no need to analyse the four holiday games, we deserved to beat Manchester City, we deserved to win against Wigan, while we beat Portsmouth and Derby, but we have lost four points in these games and it has meant the gap is bigger.

"There is no point being too critical of performances. We know we were much better than City and Wigan but we know we need to win, that is simple."

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