'We are much better in the last part of the season' - Torres

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The Independent Football

Fernando Torres last night cited Liverpool's strong recent record in the closing weeks of the season as evidence that they can reel in Tottenham Hotspur for the fourth Champions League spot.

Torres, whose two goals in the demolition of Sunderland took his tally to 18 goals in 21 games, agreed that Liverpool probably need to win their remaining matches to catch Harry Redknapp's side, despite having climbed ahead of Manchester City into fifth place in the Premier League.

"We are much better in the last part of the season and we have six games to play," Torres said. "We have to be as strong away as we are at home."

Liverpool remain four points behind Tottenham, with a game less to play, but the north London club's run-in is tougher, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to play in the course of eight days next month. Rafael Benitez, the Liverpool manager, forced into a more attack-minded set-up with the odds stacked against his side, said his side could still secure the final Champions League place if they can maintain this kind of momentum.

"We know that we have to keep going," Benitez said. "It will be difficult, we have to try and we can see the players have confidence. If we can play at this level then we will win more games for sure."

This may be another momentous week in the rocky recent history of the club, with the search for £100m of new investment reaching its deadline date. A loud protest against current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett was held in the ground at the end of the game.

Torres, who has been linked with a move away from Liverpool, underlined his determination to stay at Anfield yesterday, while reiterating the need for new signings.

Benitez, who was able to substitute Torres and Steven Gerrard in the second half in preparation for Thursday night's Europa League quarter final first leg at Benfica, said: "At this moment, the priority for all of us is to try and play well, to try and win games and, if we can do that, then we can be closer to the top four and closer to the final of the Europa League. That's the best way for the players, manager and staff to move forward.

"We are still working behind the scenes trying to improve things for the future but now we are just trying to concentrate on the football right now. We can only concentrate on trying to get into the top four now. The other things, they will come."