Friday 6 December 2019

'I never feared we would lose 8-0' insists Reds boss

Steven Gerrard was omitted from the Liverpool team to face Real Madrid on Tuesday as a precaution. The Liverpool captain has been nursing a hamstring problem according to his manager Brendan Rodgers. Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Steven Gerrard was omitted from the Liverpool team to face Real Madrid on Tuesday as a precaution. The Liverpool captain has been nursing a hamstring problem according to his manager Brendan Rodgers. Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Chris Bascombe

Brendan Rodgers does not believe he has put himself under more pressure to beat Chelsea this weekend after making wholesale changes against Real Madrid in midweek.

The Liverpool manager says he would not shirk from making the same decision if he felt it was in his club's best interest, and suggested the club's chairman, Tom Werner, backed his judgment. Werner is on Merseyside ahead of the Premier League fixture with the league leaders.

"I don't feel any more or less pressure about the game," said Rodgers. "It doesn't raise the stakes for Saturday, not at all, Liverpool versus Chelsea is always a big game for a number of reasons. We need to get back into that top four and we need a big performance.

"The only thing I showed the other night was the trust I have in the group of players. I never feared that if I played this team that we were going to end up losing seven or eight nil and what the consequence of that would be.

"I would never do that - I would never pick a team that I did not believe could get a result from a game. The thinking and strategy is deep in terms of analysing the opponent.

"Maybe last year's team might have gone and played differently. But this is the present and we are where we are. I had to find a way to give us an opportunity to get something from the game, control the ball and play on the counter attack. It wasn't to be and we didn't get the result."

Rodgers revealed at least one of the changes in Madrid - the omission of Steven Gerrard - was precautionary because the Liverpool captain has been nursing a hamstring problem.

That would undoubtedly have cast the decision to rest Gerrard in a different light had it been made public on Tuesday.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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