Christian Benteke determined to fight for his future at Liverpool
By Jonathon Moar
Last Updated: 07/03/16 12:15pm
Liverpool striker Christian Benteke insists he is determined to stay at Liverpool and fight for his place in the team.
The Belgium international has been used sparingly since Jurgen Klopp became manager in October, and has not started a game since the Premier League defeat at West Ham on January 2.
Benteke came off of the bench in the 80th minute of Liverpool's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday, and scored the winner from the penalty spot six minutes into injury time.
The 25-year old, a £32.5m signing from Aston Villa last summer, is now hoping to push on and earn a regular place in the team.
"I haven't talked with the manager to ask him why I'm not playing. I just wait for my chance," said Benteke.
"I'm feeling good. I'm working very hard at the training pitch, just to be ready when the manager needs me."
Benteke, who has seven goals in the Premier League this season, insists he has no plans to leave the club, and is determined to fight for his way back into Klopp's plans.
I've still enough ambition and enough character to fight in difficult moments. I don't give up easily. I fight until the end.
"In my mind I was never thinking about a move. I didn't want to leave," he added. "I've still enough ambition and enough character to fight in difficult moments. I don't give up easily. I fight until the end.
"It's not the easiest of situations but you have to be ready. It's in the most difficult situations that the real warriors, the tough men and determined guys stand up.
"In a career you'll have top moments, also your difficult times. You have to be up for it. I have to take every chance, every minute the manager gives me."
Klopp has preferred to use fellow-Belgian Divock Origi as the lone striker in recent weeks and Benteke admits he understands the level of competition for place at Anfield.
"Of course it frustrates me but that's football. On Sunday there were eight international players out of the 11," he added. "So I'm not competing against nobodies. I just have to accept the competition.
"That's the manager's choice. Maybe, he needs Divock more than me now, maybe he needs me at other moments - I don't know, maybe Daniel Sturridge."
Four of Benteke's seven league goals have been match-winners, seeing off Palace, Bournemouth, Leicester and Sunderland, and he is happy to be scoring goals that matter.
"That's at least 12 points. If I can score decisive goals, the better," he said. "I like to help the team move up in the table. It's a pleasure."
In the fall-out of Sunday's match, Crystal Palce boss Alan Pardew accused Benteke of diving to win Liverpool's last-gasp penalty, but the striker is convinced Damien Delaney brought him down.
"I have seen the images again. Delaney has touched me effectively, at the back of my left ankle. It wasn't the toughest contact, but there was contact," he said.