Benitez: no one has asked me to stay at Liverpool
Reds manager hints that he feels disappointed about his treatment on eve of Europa League semi-final
Thursday 29 April 2010
Rafael Benitez has overshadowed the preparations for Liverpool's vital Europa League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid tonight by revealing that no senior figure at the club has sought reassurances from the manager that he wants to stay at Anfield.
Liverpool need to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg tonight as they attempt to retain their interest in the one competition where they can still win some silverware this season. However, with strong rumours linking Benitez with a move to Juventus, no one in the club's hierarchy has tried to talk the Spaniard into staying.
Asked if anyone in the senior management had urged him not to respond to any offer from Serie A, Benitez replied with a flat "no" and then hinted that he feels he should have been treated far better. "Everyone expects it will be like this," he said. "For one year I have been listening to stories about Martin O'Neill taking my job or [Jurgen] Klinsmann, [Frank] Rijkaard. [Jose] Mourinho, or Guus Hiddink – so I have to keep doing my job, focus on the next game."
Benitez is looking to his more experienced players, such as Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard to carry the side through on what might be the last European night of his tenure at Anfield. "We have some players here now who don't know what it means to win a trophy of this value," he said. "The players with experience will be pushing them against Atletico, they will have to be leaders and be really positive."
Asked if tonight's game is more important to than Sunday's meeting with Premier League leaders Chelsea, Benitez said: "This game is the bigger game. The opportunity to be in a European final is massive."
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Ghosts of past cast a massive shadow
Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao? Ricky Hatton, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey, George Foreman and more make their predictions
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Kyle Walker dog video: Tottenham defender categorically denies 'disgusting' rumours
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'