Brendan Rodgers looks in vain for help beyond Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard

Anfield manager frustrated by inherited players who are not part of his plans

Elimination from the League Cup has meant there is one less front for Liverpool to fight on but their manager, Brendan Rodgers, has acknowledged he cannot keep relying on Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.

In an ideal world, and with a far better squad than Rodgers possesses, Liverpool's captain and their only fit senior striker would not have played 45 minutes in a vain attempt to turn the tide against Swansea on Wednesday night. Nobody at Anfield was spouting the easy clichés that this was a competition they were well rid of. Liverpool are holders of the League Cup, a trophy they have won more than any other club.

Michael Laudrup, Rodgers' successor as Swansea manager, correctly identified it as the shortest, swiftest route to the glory that fuels football.

In the home dressing room, the Liverpool keeper Brad Jones, who was almost the only member of their starting line-up to enhance his reputation, said: "The feeling we got last season going to Wembley and lifting the trophy was fantastic. It was one we wanted to replicate." In the aftermath of a comprehensive 3-1 defeat, Rodgers described his squad as "small and thin", adding that the problems would take two transfer windows to rectify.

The squad is also expensive, riddled with injuries and full of players like Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, who have little future at Anfield. A pair of midfielders who cost £39m have been pressed into service as full-backs in recent matches, which tells several stories.

"For this match, I looked at the young players and the fringe players and tried to give them the opportunity to get into the Premier League team," Rodgers said. "I gave the players the opportunity to come in and shine – and that is all you can do as a coach or a manager. I can't keep playing Steven Gerrard and using Luis Suarez as our only striker."

Rodgers was asked if he was not frustrated by a reliance on these two senior players in a way that would be unthinkable at Manchester United or Chelsea.

"But that is where the club is at," he said. "I would have loved to have given Gerrard and Suarez that rest because they have been played continuously and they are the catalysts for the team, but when you need them you need them.

"However, we just can't keep relying on one or two players. The ethos at Swansea, the club I have just left, is that there is no individual greater than the team. That is the ethos I want to move towards but it will take time."

Despite a beginning that in terms of raw results looks alarmingly similar to Roy Hodgson's at Anfield, the indications are that time is still on Rodgers' side.

If you exclude the detritus of the Europa League qualifiers, he has won five of his first 14 fixtures compared to Hodgson's four. Kenny Dalglish began last season with eight victories from 14.

However, Rodgers is still wrestling with Dalglish's legacy, the heavy spending on a swathe of British players whom his successor has swiftly decided are surplus to requirements.

Given the gross over-reliance on Suarez, it seems extraordinary that Rodgers has publicly ruled out recalling Andy Carroll from his loan at West Ham, despite a clause in the agreement that would enable him to do this in January.

The striker's return would at a stroke have given Liverpool a plan B and brought back a footballer whose performances in the last days of Dalglish's tenure were encouraging. However, the suspicion was always that Carroll's departure was a statement of intent by Rodgers – and these are the hardest to reverse.

Rodgers' reds rifts

The Liverpool manager has fallen out with a number of big names since arriving at Anfield:

Andy Carroll Rodgers had no hesitation in shipping £35m man out to West Ham.

Joe Cole Has been used very sparingly since return from Lille loan spell.

Stewart Downing Criticised efforts of the former Middlesbrough winger.

Jordan Henderson Yet to start a Premier League game this term and was used at right-back against Swansea.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
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