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Its not the trophies but the team you build that matters – Benitez

SoccerNews in English Premier League 1 Nov 2009

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Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez averted the growing pressure on him stating that winning trophies is not everything but creating a group of players that can fight for trophies is all that matters.

The coach believes that Fulham will ease all criticism soon and is hopeful about Fernando Torres return to field for their crucial Champions League fixture against Lyon on Wednesday.

Liverpool suffered their fifth Premier League defeat of the season when they went down 3-1 to Fulham at Craven Cottage yesterday, a game in which Philipp Degen and Jamie Carragher, their captain, were sent off.

They were also knocked out of the Carling Cup at Arsenal in midweek and the club’s further participation in the Champions League will be thrown into doubt if they lose to Lyons on Wednesday.

“We got 86 points in the Premier League last year and some people say it wasn’t a good season. But to finish second (to champions Manchester United) and close the gap between the top team and us to four points was a massive achievement.

“Trophies mean a lot to everyone but to see the team progress means you can guarantee you will be there in the future and you can fight for trophies.”

Speaking about Liverpool’s crushing defeat last weekend, he claimed to have no regrets at taking off Fernando Torres against Fulham, after the Spanish striker took four days to recover from an 80-minute appearance against Manchester United at Anfield last Sunday.

Benitez said: “We needed to do something to protect the player. We were more or less in control of the game. If we had left him on the pitch maybe we would have lost the player for a month.

“It was a difficult decision but we decided to start with him because he can do a proper warm-up. But we decided to take him out at 60 minutes. The last time he played 80 minutes it took him four days to be fit.”

Yet another defeat could see them go out of the Champions League at the group stage and with Steven Gerrard doubtful with his groin injury and Glen Johnson suffering from a calf strain, the Liverpool injury list shows no sign of easing.

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