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American Bosses Back Benitez Despite Poor Form
Associated Press, October 25th, 2007 3PM



After yet another poor performance in the Champions League, Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks came out in defense of Manager Rafael Benitez, insisting that the Spaniard's job at Anfield was still safe. "We back Rafa," Hicks said, referring to himself and fellow American George Gillett, the club's other co-owner. "He's the right manager" Hicks admitted that Besiktas "outplayed" his team last night but maintained that "Rafa's ability to coach and manage in the Champions League should be unquestioned." Benitez has led Liverpool to two Champions League finals in the past three years.

In recent weeks, Rafa's Reds have been poor in both domestic and Champions League competition, winning just two of their last eight games. Benitez has particularly come under fire for his rotation policy, which has drawn the ire of critics and peers alike. Liverpool has just one point from three games in Champions League Group A; Hicks conceded that the Reds would probably have to win their final three games to progress to the knockout stage.   

Meanwhile, another American billionaire Robert Kraft of the consumer package goods corporation of the same name says that he too is interested in investing in an English Premier League club. Kraft, who owns the New England Revolution in MLS and the NFL's Patriots, declined to mention a specific club. "We'd like to close our deal and then talk about it. It's still something we have an avid interest in," he said.

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