Friday 19 January 2018

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers slams 'frenzied' critics

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: 'There has been a frenzy to get me out of here. There is no question about that'
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: 'There has been a frenzy to get me out of here. There is no question about that'

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed that he is the victim of a "frenzied" campaign to force him out of Anfield.

Rodgers refused to identify those whom he felt were campaigning against him but acting captain James Milner suggested that the rise of social media was a contributor to the "hysteria" surrounding the manager.

There have been hints that Rodgers believes former Liverpool players working in the media have not been supportive enough during his troubled spell.

"There has been a frenzy to get me out of here. There is no question about that," said Rodgers.

"Whether that's a Liverpool-hysteria or big-club hysteria I am not so sure.

"The scrutiny here is obviously greater, for me, than any club. But it is a huge club and as a manager you know that and deal with it.

"It's not about proving people wrong. I think I have shown in the early stages of my management - without being arrogant - that with a talented group of players I can compete at the top end of the league. There are just very short memories in football.

"The team was eighth when I got here and we built and produced a team to excite people throughout European football that should have won the league.

It didn't but nobody even expected us to be near the top four.

"I know how to manage top players and manage the group, but when you lose that or those players are not available and you have to piece it together, that takes time. Then all the good work gets forgotten. That's how it works.

"It seems the focus has not been on what's gone on and what we've been missing, but more about getting me out of the club. That's sad. I am the same man who nearly won us the league, but better. If you give me the tools I'll do the work.

"I know last season and this there have been a lot of things going against us, but we've always managed to stick together. The players are very much fighting and with players returning we can have a great season."

Milner, who scored the first in Liverpool's 3-2 win against Aston Villa, argued that the possible consequence of every poor run gets magnified because of the changing nature of football coverage.

"That is the way football is now - social media and Sky Sports apps, and everything like that," Milner said. "There is so much scrutiny. It is important we pay no attention to it and focus on the work.

"A lot of things that have been said are disappointing and frustrating really because you see how close they went to winning the league a couple of years ago.

"With the players that have left, the club is going to take time to get back to that point.

"But he [Rodgers] has shown he is a top-class manager and, with the players we have, we can get to where we want to be with patience."

Milner believes that the scrutiny at Anfield is comparable to that at Manchester City.

"I would say it is as big. They are both big clubs," he said. "There is always going to be that pressure when things aren't going well."

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