Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Roberto Martinez philosophy shaped his methods
Rodgers succeeded Martinez at Swansea
Friday 01 March 2013
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers accepts the philosophies of Wigan boss Roberto Martinez gave him a helping hand in his own progress as a coach.
The 40-year-old admits when he took over at Swansea, having been sacked at Reading seven months previously, he benefited from the groundwork done by the Spaniard.
Even though there had been a year of Paulo Sousa's leadership in between at the Liberty Stadium the footprints of Martinez were still there and Rodgers was able to build on those foundations.
It ultimately allowed him to get Swansea promoted to the Barclays Premier League and, on the back of that success, saw him installed at Anfield ahead of Martinez, who was the other leading candidate Fenway Sports Group had identified.
The pair cross paths at the DW Stadium tomorrow - a place where Liverpool have not won since September 2007 despite the Latics' regular battles against relegation - where there will be a meeting of like-minded managers.
"He did a terrific job at Swansea for the couple of years he was there, it made my job easier going in," said the Reds boss.
"I could then work on other aspects. Every manager who comes in after someone you will always respect what he has done.
"Certainly with me and Roberto, he did an excellent job there. I was there to move it on and hopefully move the club forward again."
Their footballing styles may differ slightly but Rodgers shares much of the same ideology as his opposite number.
"There are principles that are the same. We both like to have teams that can control and dominate the game with the ball," he added.
"I always want to play offensive and attacking football but always with a tactical discipline.
"I like to play high intensity attacking football but our defensive record this season has been good, the second most clean sheets in the league.
"Ultimately it is about winning and Roberto and I, whatever style or methods we play, you have to get results and that is what you will be judged on."
Rodgers was selected by FSG in the summer to bring a new outlook to Liverpool, taking over from Reds icon Kenny Dalglish.
There were not as many points of similarity as when he went to Swansea but the Northern Irishman insists that does not mean what he inherited was bad, just that it was different.
"I don't want to discredit anyone," he added. "There was great work here with Kenny and Steve Clarke (assistant manager and now in charge at West Brom).
"I am a different coach and a different tactician and a different man to them.
"I came here and looked to put my template in place which of course was going to take a bit longer because when I went to Swansea there was a foundation there.
"But I inherited some great people, some great players here and inherited a wonderful club.
"Hopefully in my time here and can show and give my faith back to the people that brought me in and bring them trophies and positive football."
Wigan find themselves in a similar position in the table to previous years at this stage of the season, hovering in or around the bottom three.
Twelve months ago they went on a remarkable run, winning seven of their final nine matches - sparked by a 2-1 success at Anfield - to safeguard their top-flight future.
Rodgers said that achievement meant they had to give due respect to the hosts, even if they are above the relegation zone on goal difference alone.
"They did brilliantly last year with the run they went on," he added.
"It was a huge mountain they had to climb to stay in the league and they did it.
"Traditionally it has been difficult for them. Dave Whelan (Wigan's owner) and Roberto have built it up well and tried to build a team that can stay in the Premier League.
"They will be looking to sustain it and they seem to come up with the answers every year.
"We will give the opponent respect and do our work and look to bring our game into it."
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