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
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
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

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment