We’ll manage without Torres – Benitez

He said: “You look at positives and a big one for us was beating United without those two.

“After that game, you could see how much more confidence the players had.

“Before it, both were pushing me to play them. But I have a lot of faith and belief in the others in my squad.

“In the past, maybe we just did not have the same quality. Yet now we have and that gives me confidence we will have enough of it, too.

“Sometimes you can have good players but not a good team. But I believe we have both. You just have to be ready for when you are needed.”

Torres is out with the third hamstring problem he has suffered while on international duty for Spain.

He added: “You can’t blame the manager or the fitness coach, because Fernando said he was ready. In this case, it is just bad luck.

“But he has had three hamstring injuries with the Spanish national team and it’s something we need to analyse, as he has had only one in a year-and-a-half with us.

“For me, the problem is all about playing too many games. If you have two matches, and one is against a country at a much lower level, maybe it would be better giving him a little break.”