Liverpool 'allergic to complacency' says Brendan Rodgers ahead of Europa League tie against Hearts


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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no chance of his side treating tonight's Europa League clash against Hearts with complacency.

The Edinburgh side endured a 5-0 defeat to Tottenham at Tynecastle in the same competition last season.

But Rodgers says Liverpool will not read too much into Hearts' recent record against English opposition ahead of the play-off first leg in Edinburgh.

He said of his players: "It's certainly something that I've noticed in my short time here, that they are allergic to complacency.

"There is no question about that. They focus every day and their concentration is good.

"They'll understand the size of the task in terms of coming here and having to play well."

Former Swansea manager Rodgers believes Hearts' drubbing by Tottenham will have steeled them for the prospect of facing Liverpool.

"I think Hearts will be better for that experience," Rodgers said. "They might have some regrets from last year.

"The game was over early on and it left them with an uphill task going forward. I'm sure they will be right up for this game."

Senior men Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson have all been left on Merseyside.

Liverpool have the visit of champions Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League looming on Sunday.

But Rodgers insists the decision to rest key players is not an indication that he sees playing Hearts as being a straightforward encounter.

He said: "Hearts will be a very, very difficult game for us. I've still taken a squad here that is a strong group.

"It's a chance to see some young players but I've got some strong, experienced players.

"There are international captains and Champions League winners so it's still a strong enough squad.

"It will be a difficult game."

He added: "We've got a very small squad to be fair so I've got to try to protect some of the players.

"We played for over half an hour with 10 men on Saturday as well and we've got a massive game at the weekend.

"I trust my players, I trust the group, and whatever team we put out will always be to win the game.

"We want to do well in the competition but it's a great opportunity for me to see the young players mixed in along with some of the experienced players."

As far as Rodgers is concerned, Liverpool will learn from Saturday's 3-0 league defeat at West Brom and move on.

He said: "They are a very honest group and they don't need telling that in terms of result it wasn't so good.

"I learned things from the game, which is important."