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Premier League

Brendan Rodgers hits back over Sir Alex Ferguson's book claims

The former Manchester United manager said that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was not a top-class player

The Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, has responded to Sir Alex Ferguson saying he is "bitterly disappointed" about the disparaging remarks about Jordan Henderson in his autobiography.

Rodgers also dismissed the claim that Steven Gerrard was not a top-class player as not being credible and accused Ferguson of lacking "old school ethics" for revealing secrets about the Manchester United dressing room.

But it was the former United manager's remarks on Henderson that has really riled Rodgers, who said that Ferguson should apologise to the player for suggesting the Liverpool midfielder would struggle later in his career because of his running style.

"The one thing I would add is I was bitterly disappointed on Jordan Henderson," said Rodgers. "Sir Alex is someone who worked with and nurtured young players and so the statement in terms of Jordan was inappropriate really.

"Having worked with him for over a season, you won't get a more honest player. He is a young player fighting for his career in the game. He is only 23 and looking to improve.

"There was reference to his running style and his gait but every player is different. Everyone is medically assessed, you all have strengths and weaknesses and over the course of their career the elements of their physical and technical qualities will be improved.

"I am sure somewhere along the line, if Sir Alex bumps into Jordan, he will apologise for that because I don't think it was right and especially [from] someone who knows every word to a young player is important."

Rodgers feels that Ferguson has broken the unwritten code of dressing room conduct by openly criticising former stars such as Roy Keane and David Beckham. Keane himself questioned his former manager's loyalty on Tuesday night when asked for his take on being strongly criticised in the book. Rodgers added: "Anyone who's been in football knows that whatever is said behind closed doors and in the changing room is something you wouldn't want to hear again.

"It's something that's vitally important. You want to know as a human being that you can speak openly and communication is honest, and hopefully wouldn't get repeated.

"It's certainly something that in modern times is becoming more difficult. I always felt that years ago you could say those sorts of things, that people were open and honest, but that it would get left behind and you move on.

"You would like to think you would still have some old school values and ethics that whatever is said you take it on the chin and keep it behind closed doors and move on."

As for Ferguson's claim that 33-year-old Liverpool and England captain Gerrard was not a top-class player, Rogers said: "He [Ferguson] is probably one of the few – if the only one – who does not believe he is a top, top player.

"I don't think it was credible really in terms of what was said.

"You only have to look at Steven's career since he has been here, the accolades he has received all his life, not only from managers but former players.

"He is a top player for sure; he may not have won the title but that is more because of the team he has been in rather than him himself. He is a world-class player and still operates at a high level."

Rodgers was asked whether he had any plans to write an autobiography. "I've been a manager for a short period of time and even in that period I've been offered the opportunity twice to write a book; once with Swansea's promotion and then coming here," he said. "At this stage of my life I have absolutely no interest.

"I would like to think in the changing room I have we can speak honestly and openly – I would be bitterly disappointed if they (players) felt they couldn't say anything because the manager might repeat it in times to come."