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Benitez: Players Must Show the Will to Improve

With one point from its last three English Premier League games, things are starting to look desperate at Liverpool Football Club. Reds coach Rafael Benitez responded to Sunday's deflating 2-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford by telling his players they now need to start proving themselves. Benitez has maintained all season that this year's squad is his best yet, yet the Reds sit 11th in the Premiership, 11 points from co-leaders Manchester United and Chelsea. "Last season, we were much better away from home, and we have a situation now when we are looking at the same defenders and the same midfielders who were in that position last season," he said. The biggest changes to his squad have come up top: Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Robbie Fowler have been added, while Djibril Cisse, Fernando Morientes, and Florent Sinama-Pongolle have all departed. The three strikers have four goals between them in 14 matches in all competitions. Benitez said Liverpool played well in the first half, but the game changed once United grabbed its first goal; Paul Scholes collecting his own rebound to score from close range after a firm cross along the ground from Ryan Giggs. "The first goal gave them control. Manchester United are a very good team in such circumstances," he said, adding: "It is clearly one of my most disappointing days as manager of the club."

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