Benitez Under Pressure Ahead of Merseyside Derby

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 26 November 2009, 09:51

Rafa knows a win is vital at Goodison ParkRafa Benitez heads into this weekends Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park knowing that defeat could be disastrous for his reign at Liverpool, Benitez has been under serious pressure this season as they have slipped down the Premier League and on Wednesday were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage. Their Champions League campaign has been nothing short of a disaster and the Reds will now have to make do with Europa League football for the remainder of the season, Fiorentina's win over Lyon on Tuesday meant that the Reds were out despite their win in Debrecen on the same night to the dismay of their fans.

There has been constant speculation about Rafa's position this season but Managing Director Christian Purslow backed the Spaniard following their exit from the Champions League, he informed reporters that Benitez was going nowhere as he was only four months into a five year contract. That could well be the dreaded vote of confidence for the Manager and Rafa knows that a defeat to rivals Everton on Sunday could make his position untenable, they already find themselves 13 points behind Chelsea at the top of the table and are already out of the title race.

The key for Rafa Benitez at the moment is that he maintains the support of the majority of Liverpool fans that stand on the Kop week-in week-out, should they lose to Everton then even that could start to wain which could be the death knell for his tenure at Anfield. The Sack Race believes that if the tide of opinion starts to shift the other way on Merseyside then Tom Hicks and George Gillett are much more likely to act as they do not want to be seen as the villains of the peace. All eyes will be on Goodison Park on Sunday as Rafa sends his players out in what could well be the most important match in his Managerial career, with a win absolutely vital to get their season back on track and also crucial in their chase for a top four Champions League place.

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