Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has rounded on critics who "don't have a clue" in his continuing defence of last week's controversial Fernando Torres substitution.

Benitez made the surprising decision to take off his top scorer with 25 minutes remaining at Birmingham on Sunday while the score was locked at 1-1. That proved the final score and left Liverpool's hopes of fulfilling Benitez's "guarantee" of a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League looking increasingly unlikely.

But with the striker troubled by a knee complaint and weary after a draining European tie at Benfica, Benitez said: "I have been listening to many things. People don't have a clue when they talk about the substitution or that he cannot be tired."

He added: "Some people say he cannot be tired because he didn't play too many games. That doesn't matter.

"We played 60 minutes with 10 men against a very good Benfica team and we had to work very hard.

"We had (Javier) Mascherano, (Daniel) Agger and Torres really tired and you have to manage them.

"We wanted to start with Torres because he can make the difference but as soon as we could see he was not making the difference, we needed fresh legs.

"David Ngog made the difference - we then had six chances in 30 minutes.

"We can talk about Torres being there or not but Ngog created chances. With Torres we didn't have those chances.

"The manager, staff and physios working with players have a better idea because they know how he feels and what he has said."

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