He knows that merely getting them back into the Champions League will not be enough - although it has to be his primary aim - as the club's winning mentality will not allow it.
"It is interesting. The season they actually won the Champions League (under Benitez) they finished on 58 points and outside of the top four," said the Northern Irishman.
"The season before Gerard Houllier had 60 points and finished in fourth place.
"But everyone knows the history of that season (2004-05) in terms of the Champions League and by winning that it buys you another season in there which you can build and move forward.
"The history is history, and it is an incredible history, and it is easy for me to appreciate the history because that was one of the key reasons for me coming here.
"But you can't be held hostage to it. You have to chip away at being the best you can be.
"The focus is purely on the job and improving the team.
"If you put too much pressure on then it becomes even more difficult."