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
Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, goes back to his family's Sicilian roots in the first 'Godfather' film
film
News
Kim Kardashian speaks on the Today show about her step-father's transition
PEOPLE
Arts and Entertainment
Kermit and his doppleganger Hyalinobatrachium dianae
film
Sport
Wenger and Mourinho square-up to each other earlier this season
All the action from today's Premier League, including Everton vs Man Utd and Chelsea vs Arsenal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions