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Rodgers to counsel players

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he will advise his players on how to deal with any racist abuse they may receive during Thursday's Europa League last-32 first-leg tie at Zenit St Petersburg.

Last Updated: 13/02/13 at 20:38 Post Comment

Brendan Rodgers: Will raise the possibility of racist abuse from Zenit fans.

Brendan Rodgers: Will raise the possibility of racist abuse from Zenit fans.

There is concern that Liverpool's black players, England international Glen Johnson and teenagers Andre Wisdom and Raheem Sterling, may be targeted for abuse by Zenit fans.

QPR defender Chris Samba used to play for Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia and says some Zenit supporters "are living in another century".

Asked if he will address the issue in team meetings, Rodgers said: "I will make reference to it because we have players it maybe could affect, but we are here for football.

"We are very hopeful there will be a terrific game and anything that goes on outside the field will be taken care of.

"I know these are players who want to play and Glen is a very experienced, top international player.

"And young Raheem has been through situations like this (in an Under-21 international in Serbia in October) before.

"It is something which will very much unite the players and they will become one group. No-one in life wants to see anyone come under any sort of scrutiny like that.

"You go into the sporting arena and hopefully everyone from football, UEFA, referees and officials will support any player it may affect.

"There is no doubt if there is anything like that, which is untoward, then we as a group will do everything we can to support the player or players. We hope it is a game where the officials and UEFA can take care of all that."

Liverpool are out of the FA Cup and only ninth in the Premier League, so the Europa League has now assumed added importance.

And Rodgers added: "It is a competition we want to do well in, as it is the last cup competition we are involved in.

"We have put a lot of work in during this competition in the early part of this season and I had it in my mind that, when we qualified, we could have a really good go at trying to win this competition."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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