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
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
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

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star