Liverpool's Crouch denies Rafa rift

Peter Crouch insists there's no developing rift with Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "I am like any footballer, I want to play as many matches as possible and of course I am disappointed when I'm not in the team.

"But for people to suggest I have a problem with how Rafa Benitez manages Liverpool just isn't true.

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"Rafa has told me I don't have to prove myself to him. He doesn't want me to try to do things that aren't normally a part of my game, he just wants me to concentrate on doing the things that made him bring me to Liverpool in the first place.

"Over the course of the season I believe I'll get enough chances to show what I am capable of and I will be part of a successful team at Liverpool.

"It seems like I have had questions asked about me all the way through my career - and I've found that the best place to answer them is in front of goal. Now I am playing for a high-profile club like Liverpool and I am an England international, the spotlight is on me more than ever.

"But I'd like to remind people that last year the manager brought Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy and we also had Robbie Fowler.

"There were question marks over my role and how many goals I would score - yet I ended up being Liverpool's top goalscorer and I felt I had a great season.

"Just because the names have changed, the challenge I have remains the same - to prove that the people who doubt me are wrong."

"Liverpool are going places and like every other player I am excited by the prospect that this might be our year to mount a challenge for the title.

"But it is going to be a tough game against Spurs. They have had an indifferent start to the campaign and that will hurt all of their players."

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