Benitez: Pennant should be more selfish

Benitez said: “Jermaine Pennant is one of the best crossers of the ball. He can cross balls that are difficult to defend, but he can be a little bit more selfish.

“He can keep the ball, dribble past players and try to score some more times, and can improve in this area.

“Sometimes it can be better for the player and for the team if he is a bit more selfish. It’s crazy because normally as a manager you’re telling players not to be selfish, but in this case he is trying to make a lot of assists when sometimes he should be trying to score.

“I’ve given him a goals objective to help him be more selfish. I’ve put him under pressure, but it is a positive pressure.”

Benitez added: “I do not know many right wingers in this country who are better than Pennant playing in the Premiership. If Jermaine can continue working hard and progressing I think he will be in the England squad. He just needs to understand he has to keep working hard to improve.

“There are not a lot of right wingers with the quality of Jermaine, but if he wants to play in the national team he needs to be consistent with your team. In the top teams it is not easy to play every game, particularly on the right side here where Steven Gerrard plays also.”