Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects to return for Sunderland match
Anfield boss missed victory over QPR after being struck down by illness
Monday 31 December 2012
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects to be back in the dug-out to face Sunderland at Anfield on Wednesday after being struck down by illness.
The Reds boss, head of performance Glen Driscoll and back-up goalkeeper Brad Jones all missed yesterday's win at QPR, while midfielder Jordan Henderson played an hour despite being sick the previous night.
Even assistant manager Colin Pascoe, who took charge in Rodgers' absence, was prevented from going into the dressing room at half-time by medical staff as he was also ill - although not with the same problem which laid low the others.
Most of the team who were involved at Loftus Road were given a day off today and all media activity ahead of the midweek game was cancelled as the club tried to keep the Melwood training ground off-limits to prevent further cross-infection.
The club are confident their methods will reduce the chances of other players being affected and Press Association Sport understands Rodgers is likely to be back at the helm on Wednesday.
Henderson returned to the starting line-up for a league match for the first time in a month and admitted he was not prepared to give up his chance just because of illness.
"I was close to not playing. I had a bad stomach and was sick on Saturday night, which is unusual for me," he said.
"I caught the bug a few people and the boss got, but I love playing football and I want to play every chance I get for this club.
"There's a lot of competition for places, so when you are given the opportunity you can't let anything get in the way. So I was pleased to be able to play.
"The coaches just said to me see how I felt in the warm-up. I felt okay so I managed to play for an hour which I'm pleased with."
Henderson felt the performance not only did a lot for his reputation but helped the side regain some pride after their limp Boxing Day defeat at Stoke.
"Many people could see we put in a good performance at QPR," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"We played some really good football, defended really well, scored some good goals so overall we are delighted.
"It's always good to bounce back from a defeat with a win in your next game and it was a good test of character for us.
"We just have to keep working hard and keep progressing. I definitely think we are getting better.
"We've just got to take each game as it comes and keep that winning mentality.
"It's another big game for us against Sunderland, who have been doing quite well of late and they beat Manchester City.
"Sunderland will always have a special place in my heart but we are confident we can do well and get the right result."
Although the transfer window opens tomorrow, Liverpool will not make any announcements about new signings until prior to Wednesday's match.
A deal for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge has virtually been completed but it may not be formally concluded until later in the week.
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