Thursday 23 November 2017

City's slip a warning sign for everyone – Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told his players that nothing is guaranteed in their title bid. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told his players that nothing is guaranteed in their title bid. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Chris Bascombe

Brendan Rodgers has warned his players against believing Manchester City's midweek slip has opened the door for Liverpool's coronation as Premier League champions.

The Liverpool manager says the performance of Sunderland at The Etihad – denying their title rivals two precious points – underlined why it will be harder facing teams fighting relegation.

Liverpool travel to Norwich on Sunday, the momentum behind a possible first title in 24 years steadily growing in recent weeks and intensifying following last weekend's win over City.

The Liverpool manager, however, is in no mood to claim the crown so soon.

"I said to the players this morning before training that if there is anyone looking at a rival dropping points, then also take it as a warning sign, it is never easy at this stage," said Rodgers.

"When you're so close to the finish line you can maybe think that the job can be done and is done.

"Teams can look that they are playing teams towards the bottom and that the games might be easy but actually it's the contrast – they can be even more difficult.

"People are fighting for their livelihoods, fighting for their lives, fighting for their children, fighting for the supporters. They're fighting to play in the best league in the world.

"Last night was a warning sign for everyone that at this point of the season with four games to go there is nothing guaranteed.

"Yes, one of the rivals might have dropped points but that is irrelevant. You have to do your own job. The warning signs are there. We certainly don't have our hands up in the air. The finishing line is a wee bit out so we need to focus and keep producing the performances that we have. If we do that we will hopefully take three points at the weekend."

Many are looking ahead to Liverpool's meeting with Chelsea as the decisive fixture, but Rodgers says surprise results throughout this season undermine this theory.

BRILLIANT

"We haven't even thought about Chelsea," said Rodgers. "We've been brilliant in the big games – Man United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Man City. It is about Norwich and that's it.

"We are into the final block of games. That was another one ticked off. So we really only focus on the next game. We have to stay calm and focus on what we want to achieve. Our determination is there, our fitness is there, you look at the intensity of the work of the team last week and it was phenomenal really, all the young players coping with the pressure and the older ones helping to get the team through.

"There certainly won't be complacency, nerves, there won't be pressure. It is the same demand as for every game: which is to play well and win." (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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