Euro 2004 leading scorer Milan Baros has accused former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier of destroying his confidence.

The Czech Republic striker said he would have quit Anfield if Houllier had remained in charge.

“Houllier knocked the confidence out of me,” Baros told the club website.

Matters came to a head last April when Houllier, having consulted wuth senior players, agreed to drop Baros from his starting line-up just minutes before a crucial Premier League game against Manchester United.

“I wasn’t being picked and thought it would be best to leave Liverpool in the summer, but a new coach has come in now and the situation has changed.”
Baros is now looking forward to having a chance to prove himself under the club’s new manager Rafael Benitez.

“Every player will start next season from the same point under Benitez,” he said.
“We will all have something to prove. With the old manager gone, I now want to stay and be a part of it.

“I had lost my motivation at Liverpool and it was only when I met up with my national team-mates that I lost weight, gained some mental belief and got my motivation back,” he said.

“I have heard people say I play differently for my country but that’s simply not true. I play exactly the same at Liverpool.

“All I can hope is that I transfer this form to next season and I’m sure I can.”

Baros, who missed a large part of the season after suffering a broken leg, only scored two goals all season for Liverpool.

“It was a very difficult period for me but now I’m sure I can play for Liverpool like I’m playing here.”