Monday 5 December 2016

Tom Werner reveals why Brendan Rodgers was not sacked

Chris Bascombe

Published 08/08/2015 | 10:42

Tom Werner still has faith in Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool Photo: 2015 Getty Images
Tom Werner still has faith in Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool Photo: 2015 Getty Images

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says the club retained Brendan Rodgers because they believe he can help the team recapture the form that almost won the title in 2014.

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Rodgers’s position was precarious at the end of last season, the 6-1 defeat to Stoke ending a calamitous period in the final two months.

Werner said a decision was taken in the ‘long-term’ interests of the club, Rodgers - whose team returns to Stoke on Sunday for their Premier League opener - judged for his work over three years rather than a troubled campaign.

“First of all, we take a long-term view on these matters,” said Werner. “We believed in Brendan when he won Manager of the Year for 2013/14. That was only a year earlier when he was awarded that compliment.

“I think our track record demonstrates that our approach and attitude is very much focused on stability. We have demonstrated that both on and off the pitch.

“We do believe Brendan is the right man for Liverpool and the right man to take the club forward. When we hired Brendan we wanted to see improvement.

"Hopefully when we have a conversation in a year’s time he will have demonstrated and the squad will have demonstrated that we’ve regained top form again.

“Last season was somewhat disappointing, obviously. We had a goal of reaching the top four having qualified for the Champions League the year before.

“We wanted to see some progress. There were bright spots along the way. There was a period in the season from around the halfway mark when we really did show top form. But the end of the season was disappointing.

“I don’t really want to get into the reasons why we fell short of our goals. We had some very constructive discussions with Brendan. We learned a lot and we are very much looking forward to the start of the season because we’re a stronger team now than we were a year ago.

“Brendan was very instrumental in the transfer targets that we went after this summer. We expect we’re going to see a strong improvement.”

Rodgers heads into this campaign with a more balanced squad than he’s had in previous years, well equipped to impose the vision he presented to the club when he took over in 2012.

Much of the debate regarding transfer policy has been rendered redundant over the course of the summer as most – if not all – of the key players he identified were recruited. Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Christian Benteke and Danny Ings were greeted by the manager as enthusiastically as any players signed during his reign.

That said, Rodgers is no doubt he must shift momentum away from scrutiny of his position.

"I don’t want to put too much pressure on any one game or the need to get off to a good start, but it would certainly help," Werner said in an in interview with the Liverpool Echo.

"It would be marvellous to take three points. Obviously, the end of last season was very disappointing. It would be nice if we came away from Stoke with a much better performance this time around.

"I feel that everyone knows what their responsibilities are. We have set good, but honest expectations. I'm looking forward to seeing how we play. I expect us to make our supporters proud."

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