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Oct 22, 2009

Gillett publicly backs Rafa

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett remains fully behind manager Rafael Benitez, claiming the Spaniard is "absolutely as good as there is in the business''.

• "Reds need takeover to compete" • Mascherano calls on improvement
• Benitez remains defiant
• United fans prepare beach assault

The Reds' hopes of advancing from their Champions League group were severely dented by Tuesday's 2-1 home reverse to Lyon - their fourth consecutive defeat - while Benitez's decision to substitute Yossi Benayoun was booed by a segment of the Anfield faithful.

But Gillett insists the former Valencia boss still has his full backing. "We have just entered into a long-term agreement with Rafa,'' he said, recalling the improved deal Benitez signed in March to keep him on Merseyside until 2014.

While public displays of support for managers - the 'dreaded vote of confidence' - can often be a sure sign there is a sacking around the corner, Gillett seemed at pains to align himself wholy with Benitez.

"Our family is extraordinarily pleased with him, we believe he is absolutely as good as there is in the business," he said. "The run of results disappoints everybody. Certainly, it disappoints the fans and it disappoints Rafa. I have seen his television interview and I know he is disappointed. We are all disappointed, but we are in this together.''

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