Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez acknowledged the importance of his side’s 2-0 Champions League win over Internazionale after a turbulent week for him.
The Spaniard has come under pressure this season, particularly in the wake of Liverpool’s Liverpool’s shock FA Cup exit to Barnsley at the weekend.
“I think everyone knew we needed this,” he conceded. “It was really important for the club and fans that we won.
“I have always had confidence in this team and we will win a lot of games.”
Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard scored in last five minutes to break the stout resistance of an Inter side who played for an hour with ten men following the first half dismissal of Marco Materazzi.
“Against a good team like Inter, who are a very well organised outfit, you have to be patient and wait for the chances to come, because they will,” continued Benitez.
“It will be difficult for them to come back now, but they have a lot of good players and while we are confident, we will not be complacent.”
Benitez played down suggestions he and the team wanted to make a point to those who had criticised him and the team.
“The determination to prove people wrong was no different to any other game,” he said.
“We’ve not had much luck of late and the confidence is low but we must keep keeping working and that’s what we did.
“I’m also pleased for Kuyt. I have a lot of confidence in him because his commitment is always 100% and every team needs a player like that.”
Benitez’ Italian counterpart Roberto Mancini said there was still plenty of life in the tie.
“We knew that after Liverpool’s defeat at the weekend (knocked out at home in the FA Cup by Championship side Barnsley) they were going to come out all guns blazing.
“However, Steven Gerrard’s goal is not our death knell. Other teams have come back from such deficits.”