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Page last updated at 07:50 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 08:50 UK

Liverpool need six league victories - Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres celebrates scoring against Sunderland
Torres has scored 18 times in the Premier League this season

Fernando Torres believes Liverpool can qualify for next season's Champions League - if they win all six of their remaining Premier League matches.

The Reds are fifth in the table after Sunday's 3-0 win over Sunderland but trail fourth-placed Tottenham, who have a game in hand, by four points.

And Manchester City could leapfrog Liverpool if they beat Wigan on Monday.

"We know we have to win all our games to get there and we believe we are capable of that," said striker Torres.

"We know we can beat anyone when we play like this. We have six games to play, we are playing well and we have to maintain this form.

"It will not be easy but we have confidence and we have the Europa League. If we can win a trophy it will be nice."

The Spaniard scored twice, one strike being a contender for goal of the season, as Liverpool overwhelmed Sunderland with a disciplined performance a day after Torres dismissed speculation linking him with a move from Anfield.

Benitez left wanting more goals after win

However, the 26-year-old, who missed five weeks of the season following a knee operation in January, wants manager Rafael Benitez to strengthen his squad before the start of the next campaign.

However, Liverpool's well-documented financial problems could stall any prospects of recruiting new players next season, with American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett obliged to reduce the club's £237m debt with Royal Bank of Scotland by £100m by this summer.

Gillett and Hicks each own 50% of Liverpool but neither can sell shares without the other's approval and the relationship between the two has been strained for some time.

A place in the lucrative Champions League would provide a significant financial boost next season.

But while Spurs remain the bookmakers' favourites to secure their passage into the Champions League, Benitez believes further displays such as the one given by his team on Sunday will give them a chance of finishing ahead of Harry Redknapp's side.

"At this moment the main thing for all of us is to try to play well and win games and we will be closer to the top four," he stated.

"We are working behind the scenes to improve things for the future but now it is best to concentrate on football.

"We know we have to keep going. You can see the players have confidence and if we play at this level we will win more games for sure."


Benitez adopted a more ambitious attacking approach against Sunderland, playing Dirk Kuyt alongside Torres up front, with a four-man midfield full of forward-thinking players.

"We started with a really high tempo, passing the ball well and scoring an early goal helps," he added.

"We could be better, could be even better. We need to keep pushing."

Without revealing whether the tactics would remain so aggressive for the remainder of the season - fans will expect to see a more cautious approach in Lisbon on Thursday in the Europa League quarter-final, first-leg against Benfica - Benitez was thrilled that a return to the tactics seen in previous seasons had paid off.

"With the same tactics we scored more goals than anyone in the Premier League last year and more goals in anyone in England two years ago," he said.

"It is a question sometimes of accuracy, pass completion or just a little bit of luck."

Torres's early opener, hit from a tight angle and from considerable distance, was a remarkable strike.

Benitez commented: "It is one of Fernando's better goals but also, with the second one, sometimes it is not just a good strike but to do the right thing at the right moment. For me, both goals were good."

Meanwhile, Liverpool have appointed Australian sports physician Peter Brukner as their head of sports medicine and sports science.

Dr Brukner, who currently the Socceroos Australian football team doctor, will take up the full-time position after this summer's World Cup.

Sunderland (a)
Arsenal (h)
Chelsea (h)
Man Utd (a)
Bolton (h)
Man City (a)
Burnley (a)
Birmingham (a)
Fulham (h)
West Ham (h)
Burnley (a)
Chelsea (h)
Hull City (a)
Man City
Wigan (h)
Burnley (a)
Birmingham (h)
Man Utd (h)
Arsenal (a)
Aston Villa (h)
Tottenham (h)
West Ham (a)

Who will finish in fourth place? Decide for yourself by using BBC Sport's Premier League Predictor link text here

see also
Kuyt praises Torres inspiration
29 Mar 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 3-0 Sunderland
28 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
28 Mar 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
28 Mar 10 |  Football
Torres vows to stay at Liverpool
27 Mar 10 |  Liverpool
US group 'to make Liverpool bid'
14 Mar 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool agrees bank debt deal
27 Jul 09 |  Business

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