Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has defended his decision to field an understrength team in the FA Cup after their shock 1-0 defeat at Burnley.

Benitez said: “We do the same in the Carling Cup and win.

“If you are in four competitions you need to use your squad – maybe we don’t have the squad for four competitions.

“When you lose it’s always bad news but the boys tried until the end. We have three competitions left and the only thing we can do is work harder.”

Liverpool gave fringe players at Liverpool an opportunity to impress, with relative unknowns David Raven, Zak Whitbread, Darren Potter and John Welsh all starting.

“I was satisfied with my team selection,” added Benitez. “I say that perhaps we do not have a squad good enough for four competitions at the top level.

“They tried and worked hard, I cannot ask for more from them.

“I used the players I felt we needed, if we had used more senior players then maybe we would have more problems next week and then in the Champions League.

“I cannot say that my players did not try. Burnley played well and worked very hard. But I repeat, we cannot play four competitions with the same players.

“We have a lot of injuries and we have to give people time to recover and be ready for the Premier League, the Champions League and next week in the Carling Cup semi-final.”