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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 13, 2007

Rafa brushes over talk of owner rift

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez insists he is more concerned about facing Manchester United than George Gillett and Tom Hicks. While United have a date at Anfield on Sunday in a top-of-the table Barclays Premier League clash, there has been no public confirmation of when the talks will be held between Benitez and his club's co-owners, only that they are expected to be this weekend. The much-heralded meeting follows the fall-out over the new American tycoons' transfer policy. Benitez was angered by suggestions that perhaps he should stick to training and coaching and leave money matters to others. He said: 'They want to win, I want to win. We have more or less the same ideas. 'It is just a chance to find a solution to the misunderstanding. I do not have any personal problems with them. 'I think we will have meeting this weekend or next week. I am not sure. 'But I am not worried about this now as we are playing against Manchester United and it will be really difficult. We must think about the game.' It is understood there has been a considerable thaw in the relationship between owners and manager. That has been brokered by chief executive Rick Parry and Gillett's son Foster, who has been installed to work alongside Parry at the club. In addition, Gillett senior was in Marseille on Tuesday night to see Liverpool get the Champions League victory they needed by a thumping 4-0 margin. The mood around Anfield both on an off the pitch would appear to be positive. Certainly, Benitez was delighted to see Steven Gerrard set a club record 23 goals in Europe when he scored in France. 'To get that many at that level is difficult but to do it as a midfielder is even harder,' said the Anfield boss. 'It shows his consistency and his quality as a player. He has been around this club a long time. He trains well and plays well. 'I was pleased with his situation after that game in Marseille and what the team in general achieved. 'We played good football and you could see the commitment of all the players. It was good for our supporters to see.' Republic of Ireland defender Steve Finnan is doubtful for Sunday's game after taking a kick on his calf.

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