Benitez defiant after cup upset

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has vowed to battle on as manager to save the club's shattered season.

The Reds sank to a new low in a disastrous campaign when they lost their FA Cup third-round replay to Reading at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Again Benitez faced calls for him to go, but the Spaniard insists he has no intention of leaving and aims to put things right on the pitch.

He said: "A lot of people are talking about me, but I have to look forward and keep working hard.

"All I can do is to try to do my best every day, every match. That is all anyone can do.

"Right from the beginning of the season there have been problems, (privately) we feared it could be like that.

"But the only option is to carry on, to do your best to change things around.

"In any race you have to try to move forward as quickly as possible.

"I accept that the season has become bad, certainly not the best. There have been too many bad moments.

"We can only carry on and be ready for the next game. All we can say is that we must focus on the next challenge."

Benitez complained after the Reading defeat of "things that happened I did not like" but declined to criticise referee Phil Dowd, who gave Reading a debatable penalty in injury time which forced the match into extra-time.

But the Spaniard was believed to have been upset by the physical challenges aimed at his star players Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun.

Torres was flattened in the first few seconds by Matthew Mills, in what could have been an early booking but Dowd only warned the player. Mills was eventually booked for a 44th-minute foul on Benayoun, that it is felt resulted in the midfielder breaking a rib.

Torres never recovered from Mills' challenge and limped away after 29 minutes with a twisted ankle, while Gerrard was caught early on by a bad challenge from Gylfi Sigurdsson, eventually failing to come out for the second period with a hamstring strain.

Benitez said: "We cannot change the result, we must move forward. We have to think only about the future.

"We do not rely on Gerrard and Torres too much, they are very important for us, but we have other players who can perform, score goals and win matches for us.

"We know we can improve. Sometimes we just do not play to our level, but sometimes we do. We just have to keep working, keep trying to get things right."

He added: "The fans were giving the team everything, supporting them well, but we couldn't give them what they wanted.

"Was it our own failings or the things I didn't like that were going on? It was a lot of things all together that caused the defeat.

"We played with a strong team, but sometimes you do not play well and your opponents do play well.

"For three months everyone has been talking about me, it is nothing new. It does not matter whether I play a strong team or not, but in the end all you can do is move forward and try to do your job the best way possible."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?