Football

Liverpool take strength from traveling adversity

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes his team can gain strength from adversity as they prepare to take on Atletico Madrid in their Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday.

Flight restrictions because of the volcanic ash problem meant the squad set off for the Spanish capital by train on Tuesday.

However, Benitez hopes the unusual travel arrangements and having spent so much time together will have helped bond the team more closely ahead of their difficult task in the Vicente Calderon.

"You have to try to find the positives when you are in this kind of situation and it is vital that everyone stays together when you have a problem," said the manager.

"Of course this isn't ideal and we would have preferred to have flown but, you never know, maybe something like this can work in your favour.

"The players are all happy, staying really positive, even though they might be a little tired, and that for a manager is positive to see.

"It has been a bit different to what we are used to but the main thing is that we have been organised."

Midfielder Lucas Leiva admits the preparation is not ideal for what he described as his biggest match at the club.

"We cannot complain as this is the only option," he said.

"UEFA didn't cancel the game so all we can do is try to bring back a good result for Anfield and give ourselves the best possible opportunity of getting to the final. We are all desperate to do that.

"It will not be easy but we have to be calm and stay focused."

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Topics:
Europa League
Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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