Time to get Liverpool season started says Benitez

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes there are only minor issues to address with his faltering side and has urged his players to start their season afresh after the international break.

The Reds have already lost five Barclays Premier League matches - three more than during the whole of the previous campaign - and critics have already written off their title hopes.

Manchester City, one of the teams looking to take advantage of the Merseysiders' inconsistent form to snatch a Champions League place, are the visitors to Anfield a week on Sunday when Benitez believes a victory would re-ignite his squad.

"We have to change some small things that we need to improve on. We talk about the positives and analyse the negatives," said the Spaniard.

"We have to look at the big picture. We know we've had some problems and we've made some mistakes but still we are so close.

"Everything will be different if we win two or three in a row. The confidence will be high and everything will be easier.

"Maybe we can start the season right now. Winning against City will be a big boost for everyone and if that happens I'm sure we'll see the best of the team.

"I am 100% sure everything will be totally different if we can win the game against City after this international break. The season can be good if we do well."

Benitez has been hamstrung by the worst injury crisis of his five-and-a-half-year reign at Anfield.

Striker Fernando Torres has a hernia problem which will keep him out for at least another three weeks while captain Steven Gerrard is nursing a groin problem.

England right-back Glen Johnson and wingers Albert Riera and Yossi Benayoun all have hamstring injuries, with the latter pair sidelined until at least December.

Centre-back Daniel Agger's back continues to be a concern, while Fabio Aurelio pulled out of Brazil's squad to face England at the weekend with a calf injury.

Benitez admits the injuries are causing him difficulties but is confident when he gets everyone back Liverpool can return to top form.

"We have a better squad than people think," said Benitez.

"It's a question of getting some key players back. You could see the other day (in the 2-2 draw with Birmingham) that with Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard we were creating so many chances. The quality is there."

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