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Gillett Backs Benitez

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett has reiterated his support of manager Rafael Benitez while outside pressure grows around the Spanaird during Liverpool's early-season woes. On Tuesday, Gillett witnessed Liverpool's 2-1 loss to Lyon in the Champions League, the club's fourth loss in a row and the most recent amid its worst losing stretch since 1987.

Asked if his support for Benitez remained intact, Gillett said: "Absolutely. We have just entered into a long-term agreement with Rafa. Our family is extraordinarily pleased with him, we think he is absolutely as good as there is in the business and I am sure the Hicks [family] feel the same way. We just extended his contract." In March, Benítez signed a contract committing to Liverpool until 2014. During a time when Liverpool's co-owners are both seeking independent investors in the club, they are unlikely to risk the instability of a coaching change. Also, the club remains tied to paying over $33 million to Benitez for the remaining four and a half years of the manager's contract.

Despite pledging his support for Benitez, Gillett refused to indicate if new investment would assist Benítez in the January transfer window. "I don't think that is something I am prepared to comment on at the moment," the American Liverpool co-owner said.

Read the whole story at The Guardian »

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