Tuesday 20 March 2018

Excited Rodgers insists Liverpool need only 'a few tweaks'

Jamie Holland

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not believe he will have to make major changes in order for his new team to get back to winning ways.

The Reds drew nine of their home games in the Premier League last season and that contributed largely to an eighth-place finish which cost Kenny Dalglish his job.

"If you look at Liverpool's record last season, Kenny was very unlucky because there were so many games they dominated but just failed to hit the back of the net," said Rodgers.

"Defensively they were reasonably strong so it is really a case of making a few tweaks and giving the players confidence to go and win games."

The way Rodgers' former club Swansea played possession football was likened, on a smaller scale, to the approach adopted by Barcelona and Spain, so he needs no convincing that the right approach will deliver results.

"If you keep possession, it has to limit the opposition to few chances," he said. "Last year we (Swansea) used to defend with the ball and people in this country (England) don't seem to understand that -- they think you defend without the ball.

"But it is all about penetration and that is what I will look to bring here. Possession is no good on its own; it has to be with penetration."

The 39-year-old is relishing the start of the new season in his first high-profile role and says he is lifted by the thought of going into work every day.

"It is very much inspiring. This is a real footballing institution," he added. "I walk in every day to the training ground here and you've got the European Cup, a little bust of Bill Shankly, and as I sit in my office I've got a great photograph of some of the great players and managers of the past.

"For me, I embrace that because it is very inspirational and in no way intimidating. I'm just looking forward to playing a part in hopefully changing the history of the club -- but that is for the longer term."

Rodgers dismissed reports that Luis Suarez was set to join Juventus, insisting that the 25-year-old, who had a difficult time last season having been banned for eight matches after the race row with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, wants to be part of his new regime at Anfield.

Irish Independent

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