Rafa puts Masch issue to rest
Rafa Benitez wants to move on from the Javier Mascherano affair after fining him two weeks' wages.
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 28/03/08 5:54pm
Rafa Benitez is ready to move on from the Javier Mascherano controversy after fining the Liverpool midfielder two weeks' wages.
Mascherano, sent off against Manchester United last weekend, admitted to his improper conduct charge from the Football Association earlier on Friday and requested a personal hearing.
Benitez has also taken internal action by fining the player - money which the Argentine has asked to be donated to charity.
"We were talking and the player has apologised for his sending-off. He knew after the game that he had made a mistake," Benitez told Sky Sports News.
"He is a fantastic professional and it was a special situation. Everyone was surprised afterwards.
"We have fined Mascherano. He has accepted the fine. He proposed that I gave the fine to charity, so I think everything is sorted in terms of the internal situation."
Mascherano was given his second yellow card for dissent and there are fears over what may happen in the heat of a Merseyside derby as Liverpool take on Everton in a crucial Premier League match on Sunday.
However, Benitez has every faith that his players will behave in the correct manner and has played down any concern that there could be similar scenes.
He said: "People are talking about the number of yellow cards and red cards but the players know what the situation is.
"They know they have to do things properly so I don't think there will be any big problems.
"We have a fantastic record this season in terms of disciplinary issues. We will just approach the game in the same way as any other.
"We will play with heart and also with head."