Liverpool's Pennant grateful to Benitez
"The manager pulled me in and told me what I was doing right and wrong, but told me to keep going because it would come. Never once did he say he wasn't sure about me. He was always 100 per cent behind me and that is why I came through it."
The former Arsenal man believes his time at Anfield has coincided with a new maturity both on and off the pitch.
"Getting signed for Liverpool in the first place was obviously the major thing, because you don't go there if you have problems or other things going on.
"The manager goes through your whole situation and checks out everything about you, so he knows the lot before you even sign.
"I think my efficiency is where I have improved, as well as the end product. There's no point having all the pace, skill and flair if you don't get that because then it all goes to waste. If you can end it with a great final ball, then you can be classed as a good player."