Benitez happy with strength in depth

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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insists his squad have the strength to win the Barclays Premier League despite needing a late cameo from Fernando Torres to earn a 3-2 victory at Portsmouth.

Torres, Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt were on the bench at Fratton Park and all three were required as Benitez's men twice can from behind to secure three points and overtake Manchester United at the top.

Benitez said: "The strength of the squad is good, you can see from the players that played. Hopefully we can be there. I think we have enough quality. We knew it would be very difficult to stay top for a long time but we are still there and we want to be contenders to the end."

Benitez explained how his three substitutes needed to rest.

"Torres, Kuyt and Alonso were really tired," he said.

"We had played 10 men and extra time against Everton this week so we were talking with the medical staff about our selection. It is not a gamble when you know they were tired.

"I had confidence. We showed great desire to win and they showed character and mentality."

Alonso had a hand in Fabio Aurelio's goal to cancel out David Nugent's opener for the hosts, then Kuyt equalised again after Hermann Hreidarsson had put Pompey back in front. Torres then struck in stoppage time with a header from Yossi Benayoun's cross.

Pompey have not won a league game since November but manager Tony Adams said: "At the moment everyone tells me they want me to do the job so I'll get on with it."

He added: "It's hard to take when you come out of that game with nothing. We made mistakes but on the positive side there were a lot of good performances."

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Yossi Benayoun
Hermann Hreidarsson
Premier League
Xabi Alonso
Fernando Torres
Manchester United
Dirk Kuyt
Fabio Aurelio
Tony Adams
David Nugent
David Nugent

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