Liverpool 2 Oldham Athletic 0: Fringe players crucial for successful FA Cup run, claims Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers also hopes that Iago Aspas's debut goal for the Reds will fill him with confidence for future appearances

Brendan Rodgers admits his whole Liverpool squad will need to play a part in the rest of the season after seeing striker Iago Aspas open his account in the FA Cup.

Aspas, a summer signing from Celta Vigo, finally broke his Reds duck at the 11th time of asking with a hooked half-volley in a 2-0 third-round win over Oldham at Anfield as Rodgers entrusted his fringe players with righting the wrongs of last year's loss at Boundary Park.

However, it was far from plain sailing for the hosts and Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and 20-goal forward Luis Suarez were all summoned from the substitutes' bench to seal their progress, which was confirmed thanks to James Tarkowski's late own goal.

The likes of Aspas, Luis Alberto and Victor Moses were given chances to impress from the start, but a flat first 45 minutes provided little evidence of great strength in depth amongst Rodgers' ranks.

"They have to contribute - I can't rely on 11, 12 players," said the Liverpool manager.

"(Goalkeeper) Brad Jones coming in was excellent, Brad's been a really loyal number two. He didn't have much to do, but what he did do with his hands was clean and his distribution was very good.

"Iago - it's important for his confidence. It's been difficult when you have a world-class striker playing week in, week out and getting goals. Then you've got Daniel Sturridge supporting, so he's been the cover player a lot of this season apart form the opening period.

"It was good for him to get his goal in front of the Kop and hopefully that'll give him a little bit of confidence."

Perhaps mindful of last season's exit at the hands of the same opponent, Rodgers called for the cavalry at half-time by introducing Lucas and Coutinho, while Suarez's late cameo was a sign his plan A did not quite materalise.

Rodgers added: "You hope in a game like this to rest a number of players.

"Obviously Lucas and Coutinho have played all of the Christmas period, hard games, so the ideal scenario would have been to let them recover. But we also wanted to win the game, we didn't want a replay. Second half we were more lively in our game and ended up with a good victory."

It was Oldham's third FA Cup meeting with Liverpool in as many years, but the Anfield experience was a new one for both boss Lee Johnson and many of his young charges.

"That will build the learning process and make them better players in the long run," said Johnson, who at 32 is the Football League's youngest manager.

"It's so young, this group, and every little bit of experience like this we can grab on to. They'll only get better."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam