Sport Soccer

Thursday 18 January 2018

Ramsey throws arm around Rodgers

Chris Ramsey, pictured, has jumped to the defence of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers
Chris Ramsey, pictured, has jumped to the defence of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers

QPR manager Chris Ramsey believes criticism of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been unfair and insists he would gladly trade the pressure of fighting relegation for the disappointment of missing out on the Champions League.

Rangers are four points adrift of safety with four matches remaining and Ramsey's side will be desperate to capitalise on Liverpool's poor run of form when they visit Anfield on Saturday.

Taking just one point from trips to West Brom and Hull has shattered the Reds' hopes of finishing in the top four, less than a fortnight after Aston Villa knocked them out of the FA Cup in a semi-final at Wembley.

Anything other than a Liverpool victory against QPR will intensify the scrutiny on Rodgers' future, but Ramsey insists it his side who should be feeling the heat this weekend.

"I would really love to have that pressure that he's got," Ramsey said.

"I don't know how you guys work if I'm being honest. He's at a big club, he's done very very well.

"He said it himself the other day - three months ago he was a tactical genius. You don't become a bad manager overnight.

"We understand there is pressure on them because they are a huge club with big expectations.

"But the pressure is on us really because we don't want to go out of the division.

"The implications of going out of the division are huge so I think we actually have much, much more to lose than him."

Liverpool came within a whisker of winning the title last season but have failed to deliver this term in the absence of star strikers Luis Suarez, who left for Barcelona, and Daniel Sturridge, who has endured an injury-ravaged campaign.

Ramsey believes Rodgers should be given more credit for what he has achieved on Merseyside but admits the former Swansea manager may not get the time he deserves.

"I don't know if he'll get much more time because ultimately in the pressure cooker of football statistically managers don't stay in their jobs very long," Ramsey said.

"I think he's done a good job. He's a young man and for what he's achieved and how he's influenced the game in England, his bravery has been remarkable and the flak that he's getting is unwarranted.

"When you are at a big club the expectation is so great that you only have to slip up once or twice and people are writing you off but knowing him and his self-belief I'm sure that Liverpool will always be near the top.

"He plays Mario Balotelli when people would probably be saying 'why are you playing him?'

"If you watch his teams play they've always played attractive football and he's been very humble with that as a person.

"He's been fantastic for the Premier League and it would be good to see more young managers of his ilk."

Rodgers' gamble on Balotelli has failed to pay off, with the striker scoring just four goals since his £16million move from AC Milan last summer.

Balotelli is not expected to remain at Liverpool next season but Ramsey defended the striker, insisting other foreign signings have had far less of an influence on the Premier League.

"I wish I had done half the things he has had done in his career," Ramsey added.

"If you go through the depths of the Premier League - and this is me getting on my soapbox about English players - there have been a lot of players that have come into the country with great agents and offered players that are nowhere near the ability of Mario Balotelli.

"They have had an equal amount of difficulties, if not worse, but they've gone under the radar.

"Unfortunately for Mario he's carrying the flak for those players and I do believe that he will come good and that he is talented.

"We just don't want him to be too talented on Saturday."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport