Manchester United v Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers empathises with David Moyes, but says following a club legend 'never intimidated me' - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Manchester United v Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers empathises with David Moyes, but says following a club legend 'never intimidated me'

Rodgers followed Kenny Dalglish into the hotseat, much like Moyes followed Sir Alex Ferguson

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers can empathise with Manchester United counterpart David Moyes as he has first-hand experience of what it means to replace a club icon.

Moyes was handed the impossible task of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford but Rodgers faced a similar task when he took over from Kenny Dalglish in the summer of 2012.

After a shaky first six months Rodgers has come out the other side with a team in such a good shape they are in contention for the title having finished seventh last season.

Moyes, who almost every week is watched from the directors' box by his much-decorated predecessor, is experiencing what Rodgers did last year and the Liverpool boss is better placed than most to comprehend the task facing the Scot.

"I can only talk for myself but the pressures of coming into a big club and following someone like Kenny who still is a club legend here never intimidated me," he said.

"To manage at this level you have to have the self-confidence; you're not worried about who is sat behind you in the stand, who is up there in the clouds watching you.

"That doesn't happen when you are a manager at this level.

"I have empathy for the pressures which come with taking over such a huge club."

In the hot seat: David Moyes still has the confidence of the Manchester United hierarchy In the hot seat: David Moyes still has the confidence of the Manchester United hierarchy  

Rodgers continued: "It is incomparable the states of the two clubs because they were champions, there are serial winners in there, and when I came to this club they were eighth.

"The rebuilding and remodelling of the two clubs was totally different.

"David will be fine there and he will get it right. It has been a steep learning curve for him this year, he will have gone in there and seen things you only have a certain length of time to address.

"But I am sure he will have learned a lot this season and will kick on."

 

Liverpool head to Old Trafford on Sunday with the roles reversed from last season as the Merseysiders are second in the table, seven points behind Chelsea with a match in hand, while their arch-rivals are effectively battling it out for a Europa League place.

While there has been much talk of a sea-change in the north-west in terms of United's dominance waning and Liverpool's influence growing, Rodgers is keen not to stoke the fires of that debate.

For him it is not about being better than United - especially when they are seventh in the league - but being the best.

"The benchmark for us is the best," he said.

"First of all we are always challenging the team at the top - not Manchester United, who are further down.

"Liverpool has its own great history both domestically and in European football so for us the benchmark has always been the best and we will always look to do that.

"I never said when I came in here we wanted to be fourth. Top four is where we want to be but Liverpool will always be judged on being the best, both here and in Europe not against Manchester United.

"We are only concentrating on ourselves. They (United) have some great players, they have probably one of the largest wage bills so they have top players there but I don't know the dressing room well enough to know where they are at.

"Our focus is only on Liverpool. The club decided to go a (certain) way 18 months ago and I was asked to carry on some of the brilliant work Kenny did in reshaping the club.

"We have just continued down a road which has seen us develop and improve.

"There is still a long way to go in terms of where we want to be but we are on the right road."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week