Brendan Rodgers refuses to comment on Clint Dempsey as Liverpool switch focus to transfer deadline day

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers switched his focus to the final day of summer transfer activity after watching his side scrape into the Europa League group stages.

The Reds survived a late scare in their qualifying round play-off against Hearts by securing a 2-1 aggregate success with a last-gasp Luis Suarez equaliser in the second leg at Anfield.

After a busy day that also saw £35million record signing Andy Carroll join West Ham on loan, Rodgers now wants to make squad additions before the transfer window closes.

"We need other players to come in and help the group," Rodgers said. "We hope over the next 24 hours that can happen."

One player Liverpool have been persistently linked with is Fulham's United States forward Clint Dempsey.

Rodgers was asked specifically about the American but said: "We have been linked with loads."

Other rumoured signings include Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge, while there has also been speculation suggesting the likes of Charlie Adam, Joe Cole, Jordan Henderson and Jay Spearing could leave.

Rodgers said: "There have been one or two enquiries but my concentration today was on the game.

"I will get an update later from Ian Ayre, our managing director, who has worked tirelessly over the course of this window to manage deals, in and out."

On the field, Rodgers' side were dominant against their Clydesdale Bank Premier League opponents but failed to make the most of their superiority.

Among a multitude of chances, 18-year-old full debutant Adam Morgan had a goal disallowed while Suarez spurned two gilt-edged chances in quick succession.

It looked like costing Liverpool when goalkeeper Jose Reina allowed a David Templeton shot to squirm through his grasp six minutes from time.

But that served only to rouse the Reds and Suarez made amends with a superb finish from a tight angle in the 88th minute.

Rodgers said: "We achieved the objective which was to get through. I thought the attitude and commitment of the players was excellent.

"We showed our spirit towards the end when we went behind.

"I thought we were wasteful. We created chances and could have put the game to bed a lot earlier, but the most important thing was to get through and we have done that."

Rodgers defended Reina, who was also partly to blame for one of the goals conceded in Sunday's 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw with Manchester City.

Rodgers said: "Pepe has been brilliant since I came in and he will be a pivotal part of how we work.

"He has been excellent off the field. He is a real good guy who understands the ideology of what we are trying to do.

"Unfortunately for goalkeepers it is part and parcel of the game. There is no blame attached. Goalkeepers make mistakes."

PA

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