Benitez defends selection

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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has defended his decision to field reserves against Tottenham on Wednesday, insisting there is enough strength in depth in his squad.

While Arsenal's youngsters looked ready for the top flight when they booked their place in the Carling Cup quarter-final earlier in the week, Benitez's second-string struggled at White Hart Lane and were defeated 4-2.

"They are internationals and have quality, but we didn't play well," said Benitez. "I think they can still do well. When you have two or three not playing well, though, it's difficult for the others to keep up their levels."

He added: "The young players need to play more games like this - win some games, lose some games, gain some experience."

Liverpool remain second in the Barclays Premier League but there will now be doubts if Benitez's squad players are ready to step in when suspensions and injuries

"If the team goes to Bolton and wins, we'll still be top of the table and everyone will be talking about our priorities," added the Spaniard.

"We're disappointed because I want to win every game. We had a lot of quality in that team and wanted to win. But you have to think about priorities.

"The Champions League and the Premier League are the priorities. After that, the FA Cup."

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Tottenham Hotspur
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