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This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez believes Jamie Carragher is getting back to his best ahead of today's trip to Blackburn Rovers.
The Reds defender was criticised for his performances earlier in the campaign but produced an heroic display in last weekend's 2-0 derby victory over Everton.
Benitez never doubted the 31-year-old centre-back and insists he is crucial to the Reds' hopes of climbing the Premier League table.
"Carra did really well against Everton and is playing at a high level," Benitez said.
"Before people were talking about him and some were saying he was finished. But I knew he would be okay.
"Physically he was always fine. We had all the fitness tests done and he had the same pace and stamina as before.
"For me it was just a question of confidence and understanding with the players around him.
"In the last two games he has played at the back alongside Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson and Emiliano Insua.
"There is a good understanding between them and with Lucas and Javier Mascherano in front of them we are looking stronger."
The Reds travel to Ewood Park looking to secure back to back clean sheets in the league for the first time this season. And Benitez is desperate to see his side continue their mean streak.
"We have more than enough people who can score goals," he said.
"That's not a problem for us, it's more important for us to improve in defence.
"We've conceded more goals this season than we have in the past and we need to keep a good balance like we had last season."
Liverpool's derby victory was branded 'lucky' by some pundits but Benitez insists it was deserved and he is hoping it will prove to be a catalyst.
"We played well against Birmingham and Lyon but still the people criticised us because of the results," he said.
"Then when we get a good result without playing at the same level, they continued to criticise us, only this time because we didn't play well.
"It's always a difficult position. Sometimes you can not please everyone.
"We had our chances against Everton and we took them, plus Insua went very close to scoring.
"We had more possession than them. They were just more direct than us. The chances they had came from a throw-in and a free-kick. We had our chances in open play.
"Beating Everton was massive for us and now the main thing is to try and win at Blackburn and look to consolidate a position in the top four."
This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the views or position of Liverpool Football Club.
Author: Liverpool Echo Tagged:
, jamie carragher
, rafa benitez
, rafael benitez
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