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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent