Wednesday 21 March 2018

Rodgers rests stars for Bordeaux trip

Brendan Rodgers (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Brendan Rodgers (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he is unfazed by the extra pressure on him after a poor start to the season but admitted that the team's recent performances were not up to standard.

"It's the same as it ever was. I don't think it has increased. It's pressure that comes from managing a huge club," he said ahead of tonight's Europa League group tie against Bordeaux.

"I just need to concentrate on getting the team right.

"We need to get back to a way of playing. We have an inherent belief that if we get back to that level we will get results.

"You can lose games, but it's how you lose them. The last couple of defeats is not how you want to lose a game of football.

"Players are still settling in. There's been a big transformation. I need to integrate that back in and get us back to an exciting way of working."

Rodgers has decided to rest key players tonight ahead of the weekend league game against Norwich, including Christian Benteke, James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne, Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren and Lucas Leiva.

That means Mamadou Sakho is set for his first appearance of the season alongside Kolo Toure in a much-changed back four. Up front, Belgium striker Divock Origi will make his first Liverpool start, while Adam Lallana has returned to fitness and is also in contention.

Rodgers has brought Dublin teenager Daniel Cleary as part of his travelling panel. The 19-year-old central defender, a product of Crumlin United, was part of Liverpool's pre-season tour of Asia and this represents the next phase of his development.

Captain Jordan Henderson has undergone a specialist procedure in the United States in an attempt to cure an ongoing heel problem. The midfielder flew on Monday to seek expert advice from New Jersey-based Dr John Cozzarelli.

It is understood that since arriving he has been assessed and has undergone a procedure which involves a series of injections, but he has not had surgery.

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