Benitez plans long Anfield stay

Rafa Benitez plans to remain Liverpool manager for a long time, despite the flak that he is currently receiving for his club's poor run of form.

The Reds face a tough Champions League clash at Lyon on Wednesday on the back of a run of six defeats in their last seven matches in all competitions.

Benitez's side lost 2-1 to the French side at Anfield a fortnight ago and another defeat could see their Champions League hopes come to an end at the group stage.

The former Valencia manager remains upbeat though, saying:"I'm very pleased to be here and I wish to be here for a long time.

"The players are strong enough for this challenge. The mentality is good, and they are determined to win.

"Two years ago we also needed to win our final three group matches, and we succeeded. We can do that again. The players here are strong enough for this challenge.

"The players are working very hard, they are positive and determined. They know this result is important for the club, for everyone.

"But our fans have not turned. They are clever people, they know the position the club was in when I arrived and they know what position it is in now, they know this is the only way.

"It is important for everyone to see the bigger picture. I am sure things will change in a few weeks when we have our players fit again. When we have our big players available, everything will change.

"Losing would be bad for us, bad for the club, but we will keep going. But we are not thinking that way, we are only thinking of winning."

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