Benitez: Torres can get better

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes Fernando Torres has yet to reach his peak despite witnessing a brilliant hat-trick in the 6-1 demolition of Hull at Anfield.

The Spain striker hit three goals in the opening 47 minutes - after Geovanni had briefly equalised - before Steven Gerrard added the fourth and Ryan Babel hit two late on.

"In the last three games he was really good, he is improving his mentality, work-rate and movement and he is now showing his ability but I think he can do it better," said the Liverpool boss. "The main thing is the mentality of the player. He is keen to learn and he will improve but how much depends on him."

Benitez said he was always confident the 25-year-old would become one of the world's greatest strikers after bringing him to Anfield from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2007.

"If you think about the money we were spending on players we then decided to spend £20million on Torres - that was a massive figure for us," admitted the Spaniard.

"We decided to bring him here because of his quality but also his potential and the future he had. We had a lot of confidence he would get better and we are pleased now but he can improve."

Benitez did not go so far as to class this as a perfect performance - they conceded a goal - but he was impressed by the attitude of his players even when the game was won midway through the second half.

"The first goal was important but after we conceded I thought our second goal made a big difference," he added.

"The team was playing with confidence, creating a lot of chances and at the end of the game we could change players and think about the next game.

"Six goals is fantastic but it could have been even better because we had more chances at the end. The positive thing was the mentality of the team going forward, trying to win the game and still trying to score more goals."

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Ryan Babel
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Steven Gerrard
Hull City

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