Kuyt - Rafa will stay
Dirk Kuyt fully expects Rafa Benitez to remain as Liverpool manager next season despite the Juventus link.
Last Updated: 31/01/10 2:55pm
Dirk Kuyt fully expects Rafael Benitez to remain as Liverpool manager next season, despite being linked with the Juventus job.
Juve have made the Reds boss their number one target to take over the helm in the summer after sacking Ciro Ferrara on Friday and installing Alberto Zaccheroni on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Benitez, who previously shunned approaches from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, was less than convincing in his dismissal of the Serie A giants' approach after admitting he was "proud" of the Turin club's interest.
But Kuyt, who has been tipped to follow his tactician should he join the Old Lady, has seen no sign that the Spaniard's future lies away from Anfield and insists the camp are focused solely on securing a top-four finish.
"To be honest we just focus on football and not other things outside the pitch," said the Holland international, who scored Liverpool's first in Saturday's 2-0 win at home to Bolton.
"As far as I know there is no doubt. I've not heard there is any trouble or indication the manager could leave so if that is not happening we just want to play football."
Kuyt accepted that while the 18-time English champions were still outside a UEFA Champions League position, they would have to deal with a lot of negative headlines.
"When the results are no good everyone in the team gets stick," he added.
"Because you play for Liverpool you should always play for trophies and be challenging for the league.
"When things aren't going the way you want these kind of things come up in the press and people talk about other things than football."
The numbers are beginning to add up for the Merseyside giants after moving within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham at the weekend.
Saturday's success over Bolton was their sixth league match unbeaten, providing a fifth clean sheet in that time and their fourth successive home victory.
"It is getting better and better," said Kuyt, who has scored three goals in his last three games.
"We knew at the start of the season we had lots of quality in the team but things didn't happen the way we wanted them to but that is behind us now.
"Confidence is really important and it is something we didn't have a couple of months ago.
"But you can see as soon as the goals are coming the confidence is coming back as well."