Sport Soccer

Monday 11 December 2017

Suarez will give fans response he owes them – Rodgers

Luis Suarez is set for a return to action
Luis Suarez is set for a return to action

Ian Herbert

"We will see. We will see," said Brendan Rodgers when asked whether Luis Suarez, who is in line to return for Liverpool at Old Trafford tomorrow night after completing a 10-game suspension, has learned lessons from the consequences of biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April.

While it was hard to tell whether Rodgers was smiling or grimacing when he spoke, Liverpool and their manager know that they can no more predict what Suarez will do when the red mist drops in the heat of competitive action than they can tell where he will be playing his football this time next year.

Rodgers declared that Suarez owed Liverpool, having stood by him through the Ivanovic episode and then finding the Uruguayan publicly agitating to leave and accusing Rodgers of reneging on a promise to release him to play Champions League football with Arsenal this summer.

"I'm sure he does (owe Liverpool)," the manager said. "But you'll find out that once he gets that strip on, he'll work his socks off.

"He's received nothing but affection and love from the supporters. They deserve no less than 100pc and, knowing Luis, that's what he'll give.

"He's a top player and he needs to be on the grass, playing football, showing all his qualities to the supporters here.

"I am very hopeful he is now focused on delivering for them after the great support he's had here."

Few players crave football like Suarez, whose enthusiasm for the game is the flip-side of the unpredictability which is likely to have seen him encouraged to seek conversations with Dr Steve Peters, the sports psychologist who has been working with the squad.

Meanwhile, Rodgers revealed that the new deal that is likely to require Glen Johnson taking a cut in his £120,000-a-week salary would be discussed "at the right time".

Irish Independent

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