Rafa: Reina is our number one

Benitez told Liverpool’s official website: “I spoke to Pepe and our goalkeeping coach about the situation while he was with Spain.

“He was feeling confident and sure he will come back and play well. When you have a good goalkeeper, you must support him. Two years ago we backed Jerzy and Kirkland, and now we support Pepe.

“As you saw with the English national team, it’s hard for a goalkeeper when he makes a mistake because he’s the last man. It makes a big difference.

“Last season there were a lot of times when Pepe made saves which helped us win a lot of games. In this case, maybe we need to help him by playing better in defence.

“It was good for him to play for Spain in midweek. He’s feeling okay. Jerzy is working hard, but Pepe will play as normal.”