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Liverpool boss Benitez: I'll stick with Pennant

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez will stick with Jermaine Pennant against Birmingham City, despite the winger's red card in midweek.

"What happened to him in midweek suggests he is trying too hard to prove to me he can be a hard-working member of the team," said the Spaniard. "But now it would be good for him to analyse what happened and try to keep things like that under control. It is a big risk for him and a big risk for the club.

"I have spoken to him, and with the rest of the team. It is an experience that we must all learn from as a group.

"He was trying to show he is good enough, that he is working hard. Maybe he was talking too much to the referee. If you are experienced you know you must learn from mistakes and he will do that.

"I still have confidence in him, he is training well and you cannot criticise him for how he plays and how he works in every training session.

"You cannot kill a player because he made a mistake. Other players get yellow and red cards but you must look at why and make sure it does not happen again.

"I have talked with him and taken the positives. He can play against Birmingham, he is in the squad.

"And against his former club he will try also to show that he is good enough for this level, especially after this week. He must show he has control and then everything will be very positive."

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Tribal Football Staff

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