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Gonzalez trying too hard to impress, says Benitez

galés rojo

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Gonzalez trying too hard to impress, says BenitezAug 3 2006





By Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo



RAFA Benitez believes new signing Mark Gonzalez is 'trying too hard' to make an immediate impression since the successful conclusion of his transfer saga.


The South American left winger arrived amid huge expectations, as Benitez launched a year-long campaign for the 21-year-old to be allowed to play in England.


The hype which led to the work permit was a necessity, but arguably did little favours for Gonzalez as so much excitement has followed his signing.


Gonzalez's three warm-up games so far have left little impression, but his manager insists the judgement on the Chilean will be more positive in the months to come.


Benitez feels the intense programme in Switzerland, which has seen Liverpool train and play matches on the same day, has contributed to tired performances, especially from those who aren't used to such a punishing schedule.





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All the players will reap the benefits when the competitive fixtures begin, Benitez argues.



"At this moment, Mark wants to play so well, he's playing not so well," said Benitez.



"He's always trying to go forward and he wants to go faster than he has to at this time. "We don't have any doubt about the quality of the player. He has to work for his place like all the players, but we know he is a top player at a top club and he will do well.



"He has the pace we're looking for. At the moment he's tired because he's training hard, but in few weeks time you will see the quality."



Gonzalez's next chance to stake a claim for the Champions League game with Maccabi Haifa is tomorrow night, when Liverpool face German side FC Mainz in their last overseas friendly.



Benitez is expected to field a strong starting eleven, with Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch and Jamie Carragher playing for at least an hour.



Xabi Alonso is also in line to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from an ankle injury.



Daniel Agger is also suffering with an ankle problem, which has kept him out the warm-up games, but may be involved.



Fabio Aurelio has a calf strain, and Robbie Fowler is hoping to shake off a minor knee problem.



Edited by galés rojo
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