Rafa Benitez' future at Liverpool is still in doubt.
want to stay as manager'
By Paul Hassall at the KC Stadium - LFC Official Website
Rafael Benitez has today spoken of his
desire to remain as Liverpool manager and insisted that
"no-one" at the club wants to sell Fernando Torres or Steven
The boss revealed he has held positive talks with Chairman
Martin Broughton and will hold another meeting with the Reds
chief next week.
"I had a meeting with the chairman and it was positive,"
Benitez told his post match press conference at Hull City.
"We will have another one this week and we will talk about
the future again.
"I have shown my commitment for years, and if I stay I am
not thinking about selling Gerrard or Torres. I do not want
to sell them.
"The stability of the club is important because we need to
move forward, we will have another meeting and hopefully we
He added: "Nobody wants to sell them (Gerrard and Torres). I
think the Chairman was very clear."
Asked if he wanted to remain as Liverpool manager, Benitez
said: "Yes, it is always the same situation. I have wanted
to stay and I would like to stay."
The Reds brought a disappointing season to a close with 0-0
draw at Hull City, a result that leaves them in seventh
Benitez admits it was a frustrating afternoon in Humberside
and feels the draw was symptomatic of their season away from
"I think you could see we tried to win," he said. "We had
chances, we could have scored at the end, but it has been a
special season with a lot of things happening. We had three
or four chances but couldn't take them.
"We were really good away last season, but this year there
has been a big difference. We didn't win the games we won
last season and haven't scored as many goals."
One positive from the draw with the Tigers was the debut of
Academy starlet, Jack Robinson, who became the youngest
Liverpool player in history when he replaced Ryan Babel late
Benitez said: "We have been lucky because the reserve team
have been away and we had problems with injuries, with Fabio
and Insua. He was training with us one day, so we felt he
could be an option.
"We knew he was a young player. I am really pleased. He is
now clutching his shirt and doesn't want to give to anyone."
Liverpool's seventh place finish means they will now face a
Europa League qualifier in July, a fixture that Benitez
admits will cause issues with the Reds' pre-season
"We were working hard and had the pre-season more or less
sorted. But now we have to analyse the schedule and see if
we can organise the fixtures properly.
"It was the same last year, we had too many players away
with the Confederations Cup. The teams are suffering with
these tournaments, but it's not easy, we will try to
The boss was also quizzed about potential transfer targets.
He said: "We have been working and looking at targets. Every
year is the same."
He added: "I don't think it will be a problem attracting
players because Liverpool is massive club with a great
history and we have big players with quality in the squad.
"You cannot win every year. This season has been bad, but
when you are at a club for a long time you have good times
and bad times."
Who is Jack
By Jimmy Rice - LFC Official Website
Jack Robinson became Liverpool's youngest
ever player when he came on against Hull City on Sunday aged
16 years and 250 days.
The Warrington-born defender broke a record set by Max
Thompson, who made his debut at the age of 17 years and 129
days in 1974.
Though Robinson replaced Ryan Babel on the left of midfield
at Hull, his natural position is at full-back.
He first trained with Rafael Benitez's first team ahead of
our Europa League clash with Benfica in March.
"Jack was okay," the boss told us after that session. "He
was a little bit shy at first, a little bit quiet.
"But the senior players were helping and supporting him. The
first training session is never easy but little by little he
Remarkably, Robinson hasn't even figured for the Reserves
yet - though he has been one of the stars of Rodolfo
Borrell's U18 team this term.
His main attributes are his determination and an ability to
get forward and produce the goods in the final third.
Reds held by
Hull City have bowed out of the Premier
League with a credible goalless draw with Liverpool at the
Despite Aston Villa's shock home defeat by Blackburn,
Liverpool have missed out on sixth place after being held in
City have dropped a place to 19th in the final standings
after Burnley came from two down to claim a surprise 4-2 win
Liverpool started the game in the ascendancy and Tom Cairney
was fortunate not to see his poor defensive clearance from
Ryan Babel's through ball fly into his own net.
The game had an end of season feel to it, although how it
remained goalless at the break remains a mystery.
Promising youngster Mark Cullen headed a near-post effort
wide of the target while Alberto Aquilani's shot cannoned
off the crossbar just before half-time.
The Tigers continued to press after the interval and both
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Cullen were close to latching
onto Bernard Mendy's teasing cross.
Liverpool tried in vain to snatch a last-gasp winner with
Steven Gerrard's shot off the post the closest Rafa
Benitez's side came to securing the win.
With both sides having little to play for - at best
Liverpool could finish sixth, their worst league performance
since 1999 - the opening exchanges lacked any real urgency.
However, young Tigers midfielder Cairney was relieved when
his interception of Babel's pass to Nabil El Zhar, starting
for the first time this season, flew wide of Matt Duke's
That was a lot closer than Sotirios Kyrgiakos came with his
header from Gerrard's corner, with the ball rolling out for
a throw-in feet from where the Liverpool captain had
El Zhar was at least trying to make the most of his
opportunity and a right-foot 20-yard shot was tipped over by
Duke in the 18th minute.
From Gerrard's corner the Moroccan's mis-hit shot bounced up
to Dirk Kuyt whose back-header was nodded over the crossbar
by George Boateng on the goalline.
Aquilani, who had been quiet all half, side-footed just wide
from a weak Hull clearance in the 28th minute while
Vennegoor of Hesselink headed straight into Jose Reina's
hands as both teams continued to create nothing more than
Cullen should have twice put Hull ahead in the space of a
minute but wasted two glorious openings from close range.
First Cairney's deflected shot found the striker on the edge
of the six-yard area but he allowed the ball to get trapped
under his feet and Daniel Agger recovered to dispossess him.
Then Cullen rose unchallenged to head Will Atkinson's cross
wide from an even shorter distance.
Aquilani should have done better than hit the crossbar in
added time from 12 yards out while Agger blazed the rebound
high into the crowd.
Six minutes after the interval Vennegoor of Hesselink
diverted Bernard Mendy's right-wing cross past Reina but
wide of the far post from a narrow angle.
All that needed to be said about the quality on show was
evident when Hull fans began a conga early in the second
But in truth the home fans had more to cheer about and they
were almost celebrating when Mendy tested Reina from 35
yards and the Spain goalkeeper had to tip the ball wide.
In the closing stages most of the pressure was exerted by
Hull, with Andy Dawson going close with a low shot from a
16-year-old Jack Robinson made his record-making appearance
with three minutes to go, replacing Babel, but it was
probably the only bright spot on yet another desperately
disappointing day for Liverpool.
Gerrard, whose body language told its own tale, fired just
wide and also hit the post before the end but Benitez's side
never really threatened throughout.
Whether Gerrard and Benitez are around to repair the damage
next season remains to be seen but even if they are they
will need plenty of reinforcements and, given the state of
the club's finances, that seems a remote possibility.