Brendan Rodgers praises 'realism' of Liverpool supporters after slow start to season

 

Brendan Rodgers has praised the “realism” of Liverpool supporters in recognising it will take time to rebuild a team capable of achieving past glories.

Rodgers celebrated his first domestic win since becoming Reds boss via last night's 2-1 win at West Brom in the Capital One Cup which earned the holders a home tie with Swansea in the fourth round.

But the 4,000 fans who made the trip to the Hawthorns were constantly chanting Rodgers' name even after a young Liverpool side had gone a goal behind.

Rodgers said: "They've been brilliant for me. The Liverpool supporters are very educated and clever.

"They understand our resources were really stretched and the support they've given, the team more importantly and myself, has been incredible from my first day here.

"I think the biggest thing we've got now at Liverpool is the reality, the real situation we are in.

"This is an iconic club in world football but we are not at that level as a team.

"It is going to take time to build and create an identity again to hopefully get to that level.

"But the fans see we are working hard to do that and, when you fight for your life as a manager and players, then supporters normally respond to that."

Rodgers has only a dozen senior players fit for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at Norwich and he made 11 changes against the Baggies from the side beaten by Manchester United.

But the likes of two-goal Nuri Sahin - on loan from Real Madrid - and winger Oussama Assaidi showed they could soon be challenging for more regular action.

Rodgers said: "At the moment I've actually got 12 fit senior players which is incredible really.

"But I'll always irrespective of age, look at young players. If a young player has got the talent, the personality and ability to learn, and the courage to get on the ball, I'll always look at him.

"We travelled to Europe last week against a very good Young Boys side and put in a wonderful performance.

"Last night 99.9% of people watching thought it would be a comfortable win for West Brom but the performance level was again excellent.

"It is always exciting to see young players, young guys with great technique."

Rodgers insists senior and young players have bought into his philosophies since taking charge at Anfield.

He said: "Top players want to play football. Every footballer will tell you the best thing in the game apart from scoring goals is having the ball.

"You saw Steven Gerrard against Manchester United at the weekend, when he was the outstanding player on the field.

"Whether it is a young or senior player, all players want to play football and all I try to do is build that framework and give them that confidence to go and play."

Midfielder Jordan Henderson admits to being excited at the pool of developing talent emerging at Liverpool as he set his sights on establishing himself as a first team regular.

He said: "There is a lot of young talent coming through and they are so enthusiastic and want to do really well.

"It is a real plus and if we can just keep going and keep improving, then we are definitely going in the right direction.

"Assaidi has been brilliant, he has come in and done really well and settled in really well.

"He did well at Young Boys on his debut, and has done really well in training.

"Hopefully he can keep on improving and keep getting better and it is a massive plus for us.

"Sahin showed his class as well with the two finishes and did well throughout the game as well.

"We were delighted with the performance and hopefully we can build on that for Saturday at Norwich."

Henderson added: "I want to play in every game as long as I'm fit. When I get the opportunity, I need to make sure I do it right and hopefully get in the starting eleven for the weekend.

"There is a lot of competition but that's good for a big club like Liverpool, especially with the young lads doing well.

"That's what we need, we need everyone pushing each other."

 



PA

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