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Rafael Benitez is confident he has seen signs that both Martin Skrtel and Jamie Carragher are on the verge of recapturing top form.
By their own admission, the Reds duo have not been at their imperious best this season, but the boss is convinced they will soon show what they are made of. "If you analyse the performance of the centre-backs, it was clear to see they were much better at Chelsea and that was the positive thing to take from the game," said Benitez. "Skrtel is a really good player and 'Carra' was doing better again; maybe you could say something about the second goal but the signs, for me, were much better. "It was a difficult game for the central defenders to play and you know that when you come up against the top sides you must keep it tight. "We paid for one mistake (in midfield) but, in the main, I was very pleased with the performances of Skrtel and 'Carra' and they were doing the right things." Benitez must now wait for the majority of his squad to return from international duty next week. The break in the fixture list could leave some to dwell on the defeat at Stamford Bridge, but Benitez remains upbeat ahead of an important period for the club. "It was very difficult after the game as you know the time will be slow during an international break when you have lost," said Benitez. "We have got an important week coming up when the international players come back but I have taken positives. "By the end we had control of the game and Chelsea were playing on the counterattack. "We showed a lot of character in the last 20 minutes and that was a positive."
, jamie carragher
, martin skrtel
, rafael benitez