Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confident that 'genius' psychiatrist Steve Peters will keep working with Premier League leaders

Interest from other clubs in the man who will also help Roy Hodgson's England players in Brazil this summer is not surprising, given the self-belief at Anfield this season

For a man who evidently took some convincing that moving into the unreconstructed world of football was worth his while, Dr Steve Peters is getting into the warp and weft of Liverpool. Having initially worked with them only one day a week, he was in a club suit with the team for last Sunday's critical win at West Ham United.

Other clubs are looking on enviously at the belief Peters has clearly inculcated, with Ronnie O'Sullivan, who was revived by the psychiatrist to win a fourth world snooker title, tweeting: "Best signing Man Utd can make is Steve Peters. They will win the league again. Got no doubt."

Ahead of the most important league game at Anfield in 24 years, against Manchester City on Sunday, Liverpool's manager, Brendan Rodgers, deftly indicated that Peters would be working for him, rather than rebuilding the fabric of a psychologically frayed United. "He's had chances to go to other clubs but he is very, very happy here, so it's a very important component in our team, in order to help us win," Rodgers said.

Interest from other clubs in the man who will also help Roy Hodgson's England players in Brazil this summer is not surprising, given that the prime quality about this Liverpool team is their self-belief and a capacity, so far, to remain calm under the immense expectation which habitually resides around the Anfield Road.

The 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur 12 days ago, amid what Rodgers described as "background noise" about whether his players would bottle it, revealed most about their grace under pressure. "Fearlessness" is a word Rodgers – and coincidentally Everton's Robert Martinez – uses to describe the mentality he is trying to create. "There's certainly no fear because as coaches and managers that's what we work for – for players to be fearless," he said.

 

Rodgers must take credit for the Peters effect. Other managers are unwilling to let outsiders take on part of the management role. Football's insularity, in that respect, was evident last year when Roberto Mancini, then Manchester City manager, met UK Cycling's performance director Sir Dave Brailsford, under whom Peters worked so effectively. Mancini turned up late and the press conference entailed Brailsford discussing what football could teach him. There was little sense that knowledge might flow football's way.

This would probably not have surprised Peters. "When I met Steve he was not sure about football because he'd been kept at arm's length and the experiences he had in it briefly were not very good," Rodgers revealed. "He realises he's got someone [in me] who knows about psychology and the confidence players require to perform and the mental skills involved, which doesn't happen much in football. [As a manager] you know 90 per cent. You can't know everything. It's very important you have the team around you to fill those gaps."

Peters, who asked Rodgers for permission to work with Hodgson, will be telling Liverpool's players this weekend what he reminded them of at Upton Park and what he told The Independent last year in an interview which seems more prescient than ever as Liverpool have a title within their grasp. The message is still to make the title a dream rather than a concrete aim because football – like any sport – involves an opponent whose performance level is something Liverpool cannot control.

Rodgers employs his own psychological strategies. He carves the season up into five-game blocks, for instance, and the West Ham game was the start of a new block. To the question of whether Peters was his most crucial signing, he replied: "No. He's not a magician." And he will not be seeking to increase the psychologist's involvement beyond the one-to-one sessions Peters provides for players who seek him out.

"He just works with individuals, there's no change and no need to," Rodgers said. "It's about reinforcing things. [Steve] is a specialist in what he does and a genius in that field. He's also great for me because command can be lonely. You're trying to put in place a structure and environment that's dynamic and forward-thinking, and he's also good for me to bounce ideas off. He's got many experiences, not just in sport, but also in life, so he's a very important part of the team. But I don't want to say he's the best signing. They're all good signings."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
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

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?