Rafa stands by Pennant

Winger given second chance after dismissal

Pennant: Second chance

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has backed Jermaine Pennant to learn from his midweek sending off.

The Reds winger received two yellow cards in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League 1-1 draw with Porto.

Pennant was punished for two careless challenges, leaving his side to defend their point with 10 men for the last half hour.

Benitez, though, believes the 24-year-old will learn from his mistakes and has voiced his confidence in the midfielder.

Risk

"What happened to him in midweek suggests he is trying too hard to prove to me he can be a hard-working member of the team," he said.

"But now it would be good for him to analyse what happened and try to keep things like that under control. It is a big risk for him and a big risk for the club.

"I still have confidence in him, he is training well and you cannot criticise him for how he plays and how he works in every training session.

"You cannot kill a player because he made a mistake. Other players get yellow and red cards but you must look at why and make sure it does not happen again.

"He can play against Birmingham, he is in the squad."