Rodgers urges Suarez to leave troubles behind


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Liverpool's manager, Brendan Rodgers, has urged the striker Luis Suarez to put his troubles of last season behind him. Rodgers also said that rival supporters only single out good players for abuse, in response to the Uruguay international being jeered during the Olympic defeat by Great Britain at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday.

"The first point is that opposition fans only give people stick because they're good players – you don't see bad ones getting it," said Rodgers.

Suarez was given an eight-game ban and a £40,000 fine in December after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a Premier League match at Anfield. The controversy was re-ignited in February when Suarez seemingly refused Evra's handshake before the return meeting at Old Trafford.

Suarez then, in an interview with a Uruguayan television show last month, accused United of having too much power and blamed Evra for the failure to shake hands.

Rodgers added: "Luis probably still feels a little bit of injustice about last season, but for me the message is that we have to move on. We have to move forward. What's happened has happened and let's let it go now, however hard it is. We want to be winning games and doing our best for the football club."

Suarez's participation in the Olympics came to an end with the defeat by Team GB as the fancied Uruguayans were dumped out. Rodgers is now looking forward to welcoming the 25-year-old back at Anfield with Liverpool's season having already begun with Thursday's 1-0 victory over the Belarus side FC Gomel in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round match.

"It will be fantastic to have Luis coming back, and he is already fighting fit," said Rodgers, who replaced Kenny Dalglish as manager during the summer. "He will have a couple of days off and join up with us after the weekend. He's been playing games, so he will already be up to a decent level of fitness, maybe even higher really, because he's had more competitive games. I'm really looking forward to working with him."

Regarding further additions to his squad, Rodgers said: "There is nothing imminent just yet, not that I am aware of, but hopefully things will progress over the next couple of days. It may take one or two moves to spark everything off.

"I want players in sooner rather than later, it is important to get the group together as quickly as possible," he added. "But if not, we will just have to be patient."