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Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge

50-50 Challenge
By ESPN Staff

Parry: Liverpool right to put club before country

Rick Parry insists Liverpool are right to demand Steven Gerrard does not play in England's friendly against Germany on Wednesday.

Reds captain Gerrard played against Chelsea despite suffering a fractured toe but Liverpool then want him to rest to avoid aggravating the problem.

Chief executive Parry made no apologies for encouraging Gerrard to put club before country.

'It's the sort of injury that is going to need careful nursing and rest,' Parry told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

'If we had two games in a week, we'd be looking to rest him in one of them.

He added: 'Our focus is Liverpool, getting the right results and winning trophies for Liverpool.'

Meanwhile, Parry ruled out making a move for Michael Owen before the transfer window closes.

In fact, Parry believes the Newcastle and England striker will not return to Anfield at any point this season, saying: 'Certainly not in this transfer window and I very much doubt in the next one.'

Parry also insisted he and Liverpool's new owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks have not demanded that manager Rafael Benitez delivers the Premier League title this season.

However, the club are expecting to be involved in the title race until March at the very least.

'It's going to be a really competitive league this year,' Parry said.

'The main thing really is to be in with a shout come March-April.'

Parry believes Benitez's £40million summer spending spree should ensure that ambition is realised.

'The difference this season is that we've got quality in depth,' he said.

'This year, we've genuinely got two players for every position.'

One player Benitez is determined to sign is Manchester Untied defender Gabriel Heinze.

A Premier League arbitration panel is set to decide whether United gave him permission to leave the club for an agreed fee.

Asked whether Heinze would become a Liverpool player, co-owner Hicks told Sky Sports News: 'Rafa tells me he will and if he's confident, I'm confident.'