Liverpool fans have been pleased to see the recent turnaround in fortunes brought about by a run of league wins, including six consecutive clean sheets in all competitions. Tomorrow night sees Liverpool play Sunderland, currently bottom of the Premiership, and victory would mean they had managed to win five games in a row in the league. This has included victories after Champions League fixtures, something they seemed unable to do last season.
At today’s press conference manager Rafaeul Benitez was asked what had been the key factor in this improvement over last year. His answer? "Peter Crouch". According to Rafa, the striker has helped Liverpool’s cause more than anything else. Rafa says: "We have had better results and have more confidence and one of the main reasons for that has been the performances of Peter Crouch. He is a very important player for us and he keeps the ball and gives his team-mates great support. He has given us more opportunities and possibilities."
Rafa explained that his performance in the Champions League fixture against Real Betis last week had impressed their opponents: "I was talking with a couple of the Real Betis defenders after we played them last week and they said Crouch was unplayable at times and they found it very difficult to play against him."
Inevitably the questions turned to Rafa’s views on Crouch’s ‘goal drought’. Rafa said it was important the player didn’t try to change anything about the way he was playing just to score a goal. Rafa said: "Crouch is playing well and it’s only a matter of time before he scores a goal."