Merseyside derby: Brendan Rodgers happy to throw kids into heat of Goodison
Friday 26 October 2012
Brendan Rodgers said he has no fears that his young players might be bullied out of tomorrow's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
Although this is a fixture that Liverpool have dominated, especially at Anfield, Everton go into the 219th encounter with a spring in their step. They are in better form, they are at home and David Moyes' side looks tougher and more experienced. For the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jonjo Shelvey and Andre Wisdom, this will be an education.
"I have no qualms about putting them in at all," said the Liverpool manager. "They have shown already they can handle it. Andre Wisdom can take on the world. He is built like a boxer, is strong and quick. And for our longer term, they will have to sample these games."
This will be Rodgers' first Merseyside derby although, having sampled the viciousness that comes with a fixture between Cardiff and Swansea, he will know what to expect.
Rodgers talked of growing up with images of Liverpool and Everton fans sitting together in the "friendly derby". That image was seldom entirely true and has received a battering in recent years, especially at Goodison, where the atmosphere can be as intimidating as at any fixture.
Nevertheless, the way in which Everton marked the Hillsborough revelations by playing a moving version of The Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother", with two mascots dressed in red and blue standing in the centre circle, has gone a long way towards bringing the friendship back.
Latest in Sport
Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt: Examining the Impact of 'Taker's WWE WrestleMania return
Paul Scholes: Manchester City paid the price for not dealing with Barcelona's Sergio Busquets
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Paul Scholes: Jose Mourinho's attempt to influence football's decision-makers is not working. In fact, it may have backfired
Piers Morgan 'hurt' after Arsenal legend Bob Wilson questions his support for the Gunners and labels him a 'pompous individual'
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit