Benitez: Liverpool can still finish fourth

LIVERPOOL - Liverpool can still finish in the Premier League top four despite a poor run of form, manager Rafa Benitez said on Saturday after his injury-hit side were held to a 2-2 draw by Manchester City.

"You cannot be happy when you draw at home," said Benitez, whose side had started the day trailing leaders Chelsea by 11 points.

"You have a game plan but then you lose (Glen) Johnson on the morning of the game and then (Daniel) Agger is stretchered off and (Ryan) Babel has to go off as well.

"The positive thing is we showed great character when we went behind. You cannot ask for more than that from the players."

Liverpool, already missing key striker Fernando Torres, lost Agger and Babel to injury in the opening 20 minutes at Anfield on Saturday.

The team have won just once in 10 outings and managed a draw only when substitute Yossi Benayoun equalised in the 77th minute.

"I think we won six games in a row not so long ago and we have to think positive," Benitez said. "When we have all our players coming back I am confident we will start winning games in a row...If we can improve and play at our level, we will finish in the top four."

Benitez is confident England full-back Johnson, who failed a fitness test on a calf injury, will be available to face Debrecen in Hungary on Tuesday, a game Liverpool have to win if they are to remain in the Champions League.

Benayoun, who went off towards the end of the game, should also be fit while Benitez is refusing to rule out Babel, who has an ankle problem, and Agger, who needed five stitches in a head wound.