Rodgers reassures Liverpool fans

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Brendan Rogers ©Trinity Mirror

Brendan Rogers © Trinity Mirror

He’s been in charge of Liverpool for just over 200 days but Brendan Rodgers joked that it felt like it had been more like 200 years.

Liverpool’s results over Christmas reflected the inconsistency which has blighted the Rodgers era so far, as a 4-0 win over Fulham was followed by a 3-1 reverse at Stoke City. Ahead of the festive programme, JMU Journalism joined sports journalists at the club’s training ground Melwood to hear the Northern Irishman’s verdict on his first six months as Liverpool manager.

Rodgers shared his thoughts on what has been a disappointing start to his reign, but assured the fans that he was doing all he could to return Liverpool to the upper echelons of English football.

Few would argue that life at Anfield hasn’t been easy for Rodgers but he doesn’t regret his summer move from Swansea City one bit. He said: “I came here to do a job, and when I signed on the dotted line I was making a commitment to the fans and to the history of this great club.”

When questioned on what made him tick and what motivated him to keep going when the doubters voiced their opinions, his eyes lit up and the answer was clear: football.

Rodgers said: “I feel that we have the players here to fit our model, but just not got the points… I don’t know why, we just haven’t. Our fans go on about how many times we hit the post or don’t get a penalty, but it doesn’t matter; you can miss by an inch or ten feet, you still don’t get a goal. We have to get better in the final third.

“I’d be surprised if we didn’t add two or three players in January and we are well on the way to finalising these.”

As he glided his coffee cup over the table, first demonstrating the movements of Luis Suarez, then dropping it a bit deeper to represent Steven Gerrard, you get a real sense that he is a competent manager who is tactically astute and knows what he wants from his side.

He explained the squad that he has at his disposal and those players which he thought were needed for the club to progress. Rodgers told the journalists: “It’s not a certain type of player that I’m looking for in terms of skill or their statistics, I’m just after a hardworking individual who doesn’t upset the balance of the team and who sticks to the task. We can’t afford to carry anybody.”

Brendan Rodgers © Trinity Mirror

Brendan Rodgers © Trinity Mirror

When asked how he sums up the season so far, the Reds boss answered: “OK, I’d say it’s pretty satisfactory really, we’ve had a hard 30 games, playing in numerous competitions and yet we are still only three points off where we were last season, progression is possible.

“I’m sure that we can still finish in the top four. I’ve not see a better atmosphere at the club in my time, we just can’t get complacent. For me it’s all about balancing the squad and making progress, and we should do that this year.”

With just one game left this year, Sunday’s away fixture against Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool find themselves sitting in 10th place in the Premier League, one spot behind Rodgers’ former team Swansea  and five adrift of Everton, who are eight points better off.

Rodgers will be hoping fortunes prove more favourable for his side in 2013.

About Scott Rumsey, JMU Journalism