Senor Benitez outlines his Anfield ambitions

As Rafael Benitez prepares for his new life as manager of Liverpool Football Club he spoke at length about his Anfield arrival and his hopes for the future. Senor Benitez welcome to Liverpool, it must be a delight to take over the reigns as Liverpool manager?

Rafael Benitez: I am very proud to be manager of Liverpool Football Club. We need to try and win titles and win things. It was a special opportunity for me to come to Liverpool. I am always trying to win and it is a challenge for me.

I spoke with my wife and we know England is different to Valencia but it is something new and exciting. For my children it is good for them to speak a new language and we are all looking forward to it.

You are aware of what Liverpool has achieved in the past and you come here with the expectation that you can bring them back to that level. How confident are you Rafael in your own ability to achieve that?

I know the great history of Liverpool Football Club. I think that Gerard Houllier is a very good manager and football can be difficult sometimes as you can't always achieve what you want. I have confidence in myself, I have confidence in my staff and have confidence in the players. I know that I am at a great club.

Towards the end of Gerard Houllier's reign here people were getting disappointed with the style of football that he was playing. Are you going to play an exciting style of football that will have fans on the edge of their seats as we say?

I will try to do it yes. Football is special. If I know that the players are always working hard and giving 100 per cent every game then it is easy for me. I cannot say we will go all out attack and no defence but we will be a good team. I want the players to understand my ideas and we all want the same thing which is to win.

Djibril Cisse was signed by the club before you came here. Are you happy with that signing?

Djibril Cisse is a very good player. A lot of players that I have seen at Liverpool are very good players. They just need to have full confidence in themselves to get the best out of them every game.

What is the biggest thing that Liverpool have to change in order to become a club that is challenging better for the Premiership title?

Not a lot. This is a big club and sometimes you might need to change only one thing. That is sometimes enough to change the mentality, spirit of everybody. I need to talk with all the staff and then after I will decide whether to change this and that. I have my own ideas as I have seen the matches. A lot of the things I have seen have been good. We will have to see.

How important is it that Liverpool sign world class players leading up to the new season?

At my old club Valencia we didn't have a lot of money. We need the right players for our team. We need to think about what we want and after that we will do the right thing.

How important is it that you keep Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard at Anfield?

I want to work hard and give the team a style that is the same level as the other top teams. My mentality is to win, their mentality is to win and it would be good for us to keep them at Anfield, as they are very good players and very important for us.

As far as your backroom staff go, will you be bringing in your own staff with you or do the likes of Phil Thompson and Sammy Lee stay?

I think that some members of my staff will come with me. I will talk with Rick Parry about it. I want to talk to Phil, Sammy, Alex Miller, everybody because I have my ideas. I need to understand what they do and how they do it. Then we will see.

Is it more difficult to win the Premiership in England than the Spanish league which you won twice?

Here you have Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United while in Spain you have Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia, Real Madrid and Barcelona, so it's almost the same.

You broke the domination of Real Madrid by leading Valencia to the Spanish title twice in the last three years. Do you see the Liverpool job as a similar challenge?

This is an exciting challenge. I try to do the same right things I did at Valencia. For me the players here are very good. We need to obtain our mentality, a winning mentality. A player needs to know what he needs to do for the team and what is best for the team. We need to be organised and you can win matches if you do the right things.

You take on a team that finished fourth in the Premiership and faces a qualifier to get into the Champions League. As a foreign coach who has had experience of the Champions League where do your priorities lie, the Premiership title or Champions League?

At Valencia I was asked the same question. My answer is I prefer to try and win everything. My responsibility is to think perhaps about the title but for the players it is to concentrate on the next match they play.

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