Monday 22 December 2014

Rodgers backs trio to shine

Published 01/09/2014 | 06:47

Brendan Rodgers, left, was full of praise for Raheem Sterling, right
Brendan Rodgers, left, was full of praise for Raheem Sterling, right

Brendan Rodgers believes the future looks bright for Liverpool and England thanks to the ever-improving Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson.

The Reds yesterday showed no hangover from Monday's heavy defeat at reigning champions Manchester City, with Sterling, Steven Gerrard and a wonderful solo effort from Alberto Moreno securing a 3-0 win at Tottenham.

Debutant Mario Balotelli wasted several chances to add extra gloss to the scoreline and Sterling fluffed his chance to score a goal to remember, with Rodgers joking he "ran into the box like Ricky Villa and finished it like Ricky Gervais".

Otherwise, the Liverpool boss was glowing in his praise for Sterling and, with Henderson and Sturridge also excelling, predicted England will also benefit from the progress made by the trio.

"Raheem needs to be better on his left foot," Rodgers said. "It was a wonderful moment of skill and he was fantastic for us again.

"His tactical awareness is improving, and for a kid of 19... he's been great.

"I don't see him as a (number) 10, I think he's flexible. You've seen his flexibility and it was perfect against Spurs.

"It's important he has the intelligence to play these different positions and he's developing that well.

"Him, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson are playing at a leading club and showing really good tactical awareness and energy. They're going to do well for Roy Hodgson in the years to come."

The trio joined up with England on Sunday evening ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Norway and the start of the European Championship campaign in Switzerland.

Their attention may be turning to international matters but those in and around Liverpool will be focused on last-minute transfer activity - something Rodgers said will mainly involve outgoings.

"Players will mostly be going out rather than coming in," Rodgers said after his 100th match in charge.

"Maybe one more will come in. A few boys have been told they aren't going to get much game time so they have been given that respect early on to help themselves find a club."

There is likely to be activity at White Hart Lane as well today as Mauricio Pochettino picks up the pieces from his first defeat in charge.

"We are very disappointed with the result because we had key moments in the game," the Spurs boss said.

"In the beginning after some mistakes we conceded the first goal, but we competed very well in that first half. We created a chance, a one against one with the keeper.

"Then in the second half we conceded a very soft penalty at a key moment in the game.

"And at 2-0 down we tried, but we were unlucky. I'm disappointed with the result."

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