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Stoke 1-1 LFC: Rafa's reaction
Rafa Benitez believes Liverpool showed the fight needed to finish in the top four despite suffering more frustration with a 1-1 draw in Stoke.
Benitez, who was forced to make six changes following yet another injury crisis, could not fault his players' desire.
He said: "The main thing today, with some players out, was to show character and react. The players were fantastic, working very, very hard. The fans appreciated this and supported the team.
"I'm really pleased with the performance against a difficult team. In a tough game we did almost everything to win.
"If you asked me before the game in normal circumstances if I'd take a point, I'd say it's not bad, but after winning for 89 minutes I felt we could have got the three points.
"In football, sometimes things go against you. We have these problems but the only way to change things is to keep going, keep working hard.
"The most positive thing for me is the players were trying from beginning to end. They were working really hard, so it's difficult.
"We'll improve if we continue working in this way."
Liverpool conceded from a late corner but Benitez refused to blame his back four.
Instead he believes the team as a whole needs to cut down the number of set pieces given away in dangerous areas.
"Maybe we could do better but I'd like to analyse every situation because there were too many free-kicks, too many throw-ins, too many corners," he said.
Benitez felt Liverpool should have had two penalties after Lucas was twice brought down in the box.
"Both for me were penalties - they were very clear," he said. "You can see the incident again 100 times and you'll have the same opinion as everyone in the stadium.
"It's difficult to take because for 89 minutes we were winning, and then after Stoke's equaliser we could have had a penalty. That could have changed everything. We got one point when it could have been three, so we've lost two points."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis also praised Liverpool's performance, saying: "It was a scrappy game but I thought Liverpool's attitude and commitment today was first class. They had a right go."