Liverpool Manager Rafael Benitez Delighted wIth Fernando Torres Brace

Owen WatsonCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  Fernando Torres of Liverpool celebrates scoring the third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Upton Park on September 19, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has praised star striker Fernando Torres after his match-winning performance against West Ham United.

"Last week he was not scoring goals and people were asking whether he was fit," Rafa said in his post-match press conference. "Tonight he has scored two important goals and I am really pleased with him. 
"I was also pleased with his contribution against Debrecen because he was working very hard - not scoring - but creating chances and space for his teammates. 
"Today you could see he was a constant threat," added the Liverpool manager. 

The Spanish manager is hoping Torres continues to grow as a player, and said the key issue will be Torres' attitude.

"He is a very good player, but the main thing for us, is that he keeps his mentality," said Benitez. 
"He is keen to learn and can improve. You saw his quality today. We have a very good player and hopefully he will get better in the future. 
"He's now fit and we are working hard with him. If he cannot play one or two games, we have Kuyt who can score goals or maybe Ryan (Babel) who did well when he came on today," asserted the ex-Valencia manager.
"Hopefully he will stay fit and score a lot of goals for us, but we have different options and I think we can manage." 

Benitez was unhappy with some of Liverpool's individual defending but was delighted with the way his team responded.

"If you analyse the team in defence, it wasn't bad," he said. "We made individual mistakes that can happen sometimes. The reaction was very positive, so to score the third goal and be attacking all time was the perfect response." 
Liverpool conceded another goal from a set piece, and Benitez admitted it was something his staff had looked at before the game.

"We analysed this. We were good the other day (against Debrecen), but the problem is that he (Cole) is very good in the air. When you see the goal again we had two or three players around, but sometimes you have to give credit to the striker. 
"When you talk about individual mistakes it is easier to find a solution. So Carra knows and Skrtel knows. It was just a question of making sure we had more focus," said the Liverpool boss. 

Despite some slack defending, Benitez thought Liverpool deserved to win the game and explained his decision to remove the impressive Dirk Kuyt.

"I felt we were in control of the game. We were talking about it and after we could see that Kuyt was really tired. We knew we had to do it," said Benitez.

"Ryan was very good; his pace was crucial for us and I think that was the key." 

The victory meant that Liverpool have moved into third position in the league, three points behind rivals Chelsea, but Benitez said he was unconcerned about the competition.

He said: "I don't worry about other teams. My concern is to see if we can improve and defend better as a team and continue scoring goals. You cannot influence the other games so it is better to focus on your own team." 

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