independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Benitez is no threat to my job, insists Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers criticised Liverpool's defending in their loss at Southampton
Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers insists that he is not intimidated by the return of a Liverpool icon tomorrow as he prepares to see off the challenge of Rafa Benitez and welcome Kenny Dalglish back into an Anfield role.

Chelsea interim manager Benitez has spoken of his desire to make a comeback as Liverpool manager, and Dalglish this week held further negotiations with principal owner John W Henry about a possible reappointment as a club ambassador.

Rodgers is supportive of efforts to bring his immediate predecessor back in an emblematic position similar to that of Bobby Charlton at Manchester United.

On Benitez, who returns to Anfield with his Blues side tomorrow, Rodgers has made it clear he does not believe he is a challenge to his long-term security.

Rodgers says Benitez deserves the reception he will receive from the Kop, but he fully intends that relationship to remain one of historic significance rather than a platform for the Spanish coach to take his job.

Rodgers said: "Rafael Benitez is a fantastic manager, no question about that. But I had the confidence from the owners and the board when I came in here that this was a process that was going to take time.

"I only came here on the understanding that it was going to take that little bit of time. It wasn't going to be instant. And the owners have never wavered from that. Rafael Benitez will deserve a great welcome when he comes back. He won the European Cup during his time here, which is a great achievement."

On Benitez courting a return to Merseyside, Rodgers said: "Some managers will speak about other jobs, some won't." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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