Benitez hits out at previous Liverpool regime

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The Independent Online

Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez used a Spanish proverb to attack Liverpool's previous owners and managing director Christian Purslow on Tuesday while springing a surprise in his squad to face Tottenham Hotspur.

Benitez left Liverpool for the European champions in the close season but, with so many English journalists in town for Wednesday's Champions League Group A match with Spurs, many of the questions at his news conference focused on his former side.

Liverpool were sold to New England Sports Ventures last week after a legal battle with unpopular American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett but still lost 2-0 to city rivals Everton on Sunday to prolong a slump which started in Benitez's final season.

"The only thing I can say is that I am very sorry for the fans. We have a saying in Spanish that says 'white liquid in a bottle has to be milk'," the Spaniard said.

"This means that after 86 points and finishing second in the league, what changed? The Americans. They chose a new managing director who was involved in all the decisions and we changed everything that we were doing in the past.

"If you ask me what's going on it's simple - they changed some things and by the end they changed everything. You know who to blame."

Benitez, whose tactics and buys in his final Liverpool year were questioned by pundits, included Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso in his squad to face fellow group leaders Spurs despite expectations that a thigh injury would keep him out.

Diego Milito will miss the game with a knock but Goran Pandev and Thiago Motta are fit after injury.

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