Benitez refuses to respond to Sir Alex Ferguson: I don’t want to give him publicity

The 53-year-old insists he will not be drawn on the personal feud, defending his actions during his time as Liverpool manager, while also praising Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney

Rafa Benitez has refused to respond to comments made about him and Steven Gerrard in Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography.

The Napoli boss was one of many figures criticised by Sir Alex in his new book ‘My Autobiography’, as the Scot took aim at the Spaniard’s reign as Liverpool manager between 2004 and 2010.

But Benitez insists he will not be drawn on the matter as it only “adds to the publicity” that the former Manchester United boss has already received.

“The problem with answering on those comments about me – or about Steven Gerrard – is that it only adds to the publicity,” he wrote in his column for The Independent.

“All I can say is that at the time we were doing our best to defend our team and our club. We got a reaction. We did a good job. We were challenging well.

“They were good times for the club. We can let the things we did at Liverpool and the success we had make our answer for us. Beyond that, there is nothing more I think I can say.”

The 53-year-old also highlighted the players that have most impressed him in England so far this season and, unsurprisingly, chose Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge as standout performers.

“Well, I have to name a player at my former club. Luis Suarez,” Benitez explained. “Everybody knows how he has a hunger for football and it has been very impressive to see the way that he is showing so soon – immediately – after coming back what a dangerous player he is.

“You will have to believe me when I say that it is not my connection with for Liverpool which makes me name Daniel Sturridge, too: a different sort of player but one who has confidence that comes with starting games.

“We have said several times already this season that strikers work off confidence and need to feel that they are an important part of the manager’s plans. These two have created the most dangerous striking partnership in the Premier League so far this season.”

Benitez also discussed Wayne Rooney’s return to form, suggesting he has benefited from the presence of Robin van Persie

“Everyone knows he has this level in his game. He is coming back and showing his level,” the Spaniard added.

“He looks like he is wanting to show things because everybody has been talking, talking about his best being in the past.

“Robin van Persie has continued scoring, even though he has been struggling with full fitness, and that helps Rooney, too. Rooney is working well around van Persie, using his understanding of the game.

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