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Liverpool suspends Riera for criticising Benitez

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London, Mar 19 (ANI): Liverpool winger Albert Riera has been suspended by the club for criticising coach Rafa Benitez.

The Kop boss was left fuming when Spanish winger Riera branded the Reds "a sinking ship" and slammed Benitez's management style, after being frozen out.

"This year has been difficult and he has not changed at all. When you see the ship is sinking and you don't change. I've been here for two years and I know how he is as a person. He's never resolved a situation with a player by speaking with him.

"He thinks he is the boss and turns a deaf ear to everyone else. The dialogue with the players is practically zero," The Sun quoted Riera, as saying.

Now, Riera will be hit with a club fine likely to be a fortnight's pay, around 80,000 pounds as well as being told to stay away until Monday.

Riera blasted Benitez in an interview with Radio Marca and was unrepentant in an interview with a second Spanish station.

Riera is fuming with Benitez after starting just once since mid-February and is worried that a lack of games might cost him a World Cup spot with Spain.

The eight million pounds signing from Espanyol added: "When you stop counting as a player like that, it must be something personal. It's frustrating because you see you can help and he doesn't let you."

Liverpool's disastrous season is in danger of taking another turn for the worse if they fail to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Lille in the Europa League tonight.

With a top-four Premier League spot also in doubt this year, Benitez's future is hanging in the balance. (ANI)

Story first published: Friday, March 19, 2010, 15:09 [IST]
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