Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers 'bemused' over Swansea scheduling
Friday 15 February 2013
After a week of disappointments, the pressure appears to be mounting on Brendan Rodgers.
The Liverpool manager launched a furious attack on the decision to schedule tomorrow's Premier League game with his former club Swansea at Anfield in the wake of Thursday's 2-0 defeat to Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League, describing it as "bemusing".
Their surprise defeat to Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup fourth round had left Liverpool with a free weekend before Thursday's second leg, but with Michael Laudrup's Swans contesting the Capital One Cup final next Sunday, the league fixture has been brought forward. Citing other leagues, where domestic matches are often moved to give their teams the best opportunity in European competition, Rodgers made no secret of his disappointment yesterday.
Yet with his side 12 points behind fourth place with just 12 games to play, the Northern Irishman's admission that his squad may have to wait until next season before they can challenge for Champions League qualification will potentially give owners Fenway Sports Group more cause for concern in the wake of the 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Monday. "We may not be just good enough at the end of the day," said Rodgers.
"We have some top players here and some world-class players, but it might not be this year for us that we can make that jump. But certainly, what we will do in every game is give everything and like we have seen in the last two games, in terms of the work-rate, intensity and effort the players are putting in, I can't ask for any more."
Liverpool have forward Daniel Sturridge and midfielder Philippe Coutinho available for the visit of Swansea after both were ineligible for the trip to Russia. Without a Liverpool win in their last five matches in all competitions, Rodgers is keen to end that sequence against the club he left in the summer but believes his team's midweek exploits could take a toll.
"I was very disappointed with the Premier League, to be honest, to put [the Swansea game] in on a week when we have played on a Monday and played on a Thursday in an away trip to Russia, and put it in between that and another important European game on Thursday," he said.
"I think every other country in Europe will always try to help their teams – some of them will play on a Friday before a European game. So for us to have it thrown in there when there were other free weeks was bemusing, to say the least."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Hector Bellerin opens up on switch from Barcelona to Arsenal
Manchester United's Angel Di Maria sells more shirts than Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and every other player in the Premier League
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania 31: Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans