Benitez lauds new-look Reds
By Ben Blackmore
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rafa Benitez insists his side's 3-1 win at Everton shows the progress Liverpool have made.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was satisfied with his side after their 3-1 win over Everton, and he highlighted his new players as the major reason behind this season's massive improvement.
The corresponding fixture a year ago saw The Reds bullied off the park as Everton secured the honours with a Lee Carsley strike.
However, Benitez and Liverpool have toughened up, and the Spaniard is happy with the development of his team going into 2006.
"The team now have more confidence, we have very good players who are able to produce a different approach to different games," explained the former Valencia man.
"We knew it would be a physical game with a high tempo, but we controlled the game.
"The big difference between this season and last is that we now have players like Mohamed Sissoko and Peter Crouch who are different players more suited to this sort of situation, certainly in more physical games like this."
The result moves Liverpool two points closer to Manchester United, and keeps the slim hope of a title challenge alive, but Benitez is merely eyeing the next game against West Bromwich Albion.
"We are not thinking of other teams, just the next three points and then we will see after the holiday time where we are," said the Spaniard.
"But we did not really play at our best level, we can do better because there were times we did not win possession enough and allowed them to get the ball into our box.
"We need to keep working hard, concentrate, and do the right things in every game.
"It's another three points, it's special for the supporters, but we are now in the top part of the table and we are doing the right things."
The goalscoring performance of Djibril Cisse also gave the Liverpool manager reason to smile, and he admits that the Frenchman has given him a selection headache.
"We have different strikers with different qualities and the question is how to use the right ones in the right games."