Liverpool must 'deal with the expectancy' after moving five points clear at top of Premier League table, says Brendan Rodgers

Victory over Norwich at the weekend means Liverpool are in touching distance of a first title since 1990

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers intends to keep every one of his players grounded as the club closes in on a first championship in more than 20 years following the 3-2 win at relegation-threatened Norwich on Easter Sunday.

England World Cup hopeful Raheem Sterling scored twice and Uruguay hitman Luis Suarez broke the 30-goal barrier as the Reds moved five points clear of Chelsea, whom they host at Anfield next weekend.

Norwich - just two points above the drop-zone - rallied after Gary Hooper reduced the deficit in the second half following a poor punch by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Sterling slotted home a deflected third on the break.

Robert Snodgrass set up a tense finale with his far post header with 13 minutes left, but the Reds stayed resolute to secure what looks to be a priceless victory and leaves Liverpool fans a step closer to their dream.

Rodgers, who revealed the coaches had used the inspirational words of Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall as part of the pre-match team talk, intends to stay totally focused.

"You never get too carried away when you win, and you never get too disappointed when you lose," said the Northern Irishman, whose side are now guaranteed a top-three finish and with it a return to the Champions League.

"You can't win every game, but dealing with the expectancy is all part of being at a huge club like Liverpool.

"All I know is my players give me everything and I cannot ask for any more. For me, that is what is important.

"Now it will be about recovering. It is going to be a brilliant game next weekend with Chelsea coming to Anfield.

"The supporters will be right up for it and the team will look forward to it."

 

The Liverpool boss continued: "We were at the memorial service this week, there was hope for the families there as well.

"I used some words of Margaret Aspinall, we put them up on the wall (in the dressing room). She talked about stress and how it can prove difficult for you, but it can also offer you great determination to fight.

"This is all one club at this moment in time and we are all fighting to achieve the ultimate goal."

While Liverpool are odds-on favourites to claim the title, Norwich appear unlikely to avoid relegation.

The Canaries are perched 17th in the wake of a third successive defeat, with away matches at Manchester United and then Chelsea before hosting Arsenal on the final day.

However, manager Neil Adams - who replaced Chris Hughton following the 1-0 home defeat to West Brom on April 5 - has to remain positive.

"The way we came out second half, and got about it, the belief, the conviction, I was absolutely delighted with it," he said.

"No doubt people will ask if they have got that in the last three games, but the two performances since I have been in charge have been first class.

"The belief is there we can get enough to stay in the division."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?