Rafa urges Aquilani patience
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has called on Alberto Aquilani to remain patient in his bid to make his first start.
Last Updated: 19/11/09 1:28pm
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has called on Alberto Aquilani to remain patient in his bid to make his first start for the club.
Aquilani has yet to make his first start for the club since his summer arrival from Roma as he continued his recovery from ankle surgery.
The midfielder has made two late cameo appearances in the Carling Cup against Arsenal and last week's Premier League draw with Birmingham.
Reports have suggested Aquilani could make his long-awaited first start in this weekend's clash with Manchester City, but Benitez is refusing to rush the 25-year-old back into action.
"Alberto wants to play for us and he is so desperate to be involved as quickly as he can but he understands the reasons he cannot start yet," Benitez told the club's official website.
"He wants to keep improving his condition and now it is just a matter of him keeping calm as it will not be long before he is there. He is pushing us all the time.
"He is very positive and wants to help the team now but you must remember that we have a responsibility to him, and we will not take any risks at this stage.
"We have got to keep analysing the situation and watching him in every training session but we know that the right time is nearly here. He has a very good mentality."
QualityBenitez has been impressed by Aquilani's showings in training and his two substitute appearances.
"You can see in everything he does that he has got quality," added Benitez.
"He knows when to pass at the right time and to the right players, he makes good decisions on the pitch.
"Alberto is training really well and he is doing extra work to make sure he is in the best possible condition; I spoke with him in the gym this week and he is very positive, his spirits are good.
"We have meetings every day with our medical staff to see how much we can keep pushing him and when the time is right to increase the levels of his work.
"He is a player who can pass the ball and we have seen that in the games he has played so far, even though he has not had too much time on the pitch."