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Reina desperate for reviving win

Published: Wednesday 28 November 2007, 2.00CET
Only victory will do for Liverpool FC against FC Porto because, as Anfield No1 Pepe Reina says, "we want to keep going in the Champions League for a long time".
by John Mathews
from Liverpool
Reina desperate for reviving win
Pepe Reina says the players will not be distracted by speculation ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

LiverpoolPorto

Goals scored29
 
9
Attempts on target77
 
42
Attempts off target66
 
59
Corners71
 
49
Offsides32
 
19
Fouls committed188
 
128
Yellow cards17
 
11
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Wednesday 28 November 2007, 2.00CET

Reina desperate for reviving win

Only victory will do for Liverpool FC against FC Porto because, as Anfield No1 Pepe Reina says, "we want to keep going in the Champions League for a long time".

Pepe Reina denies that speculation surrounding the future of Liverpool FC manager Rafael Benítez could distract his team-mates as they chase a vital victory to salvage their UEFA Champions League hopes against FC Porto at Anfield.

Pressure mounts
Precariously placed in Group A, Liverpool know that six points from their two remaining games is their most realistic route to the last 16. The pressure has been building on last season's runners-up in recent days following a well-publicised dispute between Benítez and the club's American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett. However, Liverpool goalkeeper Reina insists the players' focus is purely on facing Porto on Wednesday. "It is not affecting us at all. It's not easy and it's not nice but all we can do is play football and show how good or bad we are on the pitch," said the Spanish international.

Manager support
Pressed about the significance of beating Porto, Reina said: "It's not a question of keeping the manager in his job – we want to keep going in the Champions League for a long time, so obviously we need that win and the three points so we can play Olympique [de] Marseille [on Matchday 6] and make it like a final. Our commitment to the manager is there and he has been quite successful in the last four years, reaching seven finals and winning four trophies. The players and the supporters are with Rafa, but that's not new. We all know how important he is for Liverpool. We will hopefully show that the manager and the players are all together and stronger than ever. It's a must-win game and we have to show our character."

'More respect'
Although they sit three points behind Marseille and four adrift of Porto, a competition-record 8-0 victory over Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 4 has strengthened Liverpool's conviction. Nonetheless, they simply have to carry on winning. "We will get more respect from people because it was a great win, but it was just one win and one good night," the 25-year-old said. "We must keep winning and it doesn't matter what happened in the past. This game will probably be more difficult. We are on a good run with three wins in a row and now the target is the Champions League and it's all depending on us. We know that if we win it will help us qualify."

Last updated: 28/11/07 22.00CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15105/match=301224/prematch/focus/index.html#reina+desperate+reviving

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