Rodgers not taking win for granted

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is not taking victory over Hearts for granted despite resting key players for the clash.

Last Updated: 22/08/12 at 18:19 Post Comment

Rodgers: Believes squad to face Hearts is strong enough

Rodgers: Believes squad to face Hearts is strong enough

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he is not taking victory over Hearts for granted despite his decision to rest key players for the clash at Tynecastle.

Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson have all been left on Merseyside ahead of Thursday night's Europa League play-off first leg.

That means some fringe players will be involved against the Jambos, with one eye on Sunday's Barclays Premier League visit of champions Manchester City.

Asked if his squad selection means he sees the match with Hearts as being a straightforward one, Rodgers said: "Not at all. We had a tough game away in Gomel (in the previous round).

"It was a very difficult game and thankfully we won the game 1-0.

"Hearts will be a very, very difficult game for us. I've still taken a squad here that is a strong group.

"It's a chance to see some young players but I've got some strong, experienced players.

"There are international captains and Champions League winners so it's still a strong enough squad.

"It will be a difficult game. Tynecastle is a wonderful, tight little ground and supporters will be behind their team and there are some good players."

He added: "We've got a very small squad to be fair so I've got to try to protect some of the players.

"We played for over half an hour with 10 men on Saturday as well and we've got a massive game at the weekend.

"I trust my players, I trust the group, and whatever team we put out will always be to win the game.

"We want to do well in the competition but it's a great opportunity for me to see the young players mixed in along with some of the experienced players."

For Rodgers, the league may be the priority but he also wants Liverpool to progress on the European stage.

He said: "Our main objective is the league - there is no question about that.

"When you work at Liverpool - whether as a player or manager - every game is important.

"It's a very important game for us, we want to do well.

"The objective over the two games is to get through to the group stages.

"It's certainly a game we want to win and we want to qualify over the course of the two games. We will pick strong teams that we think can do that."

Hearts suffered an emphatic 5-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham at Tynecastle in the Europa League last season.

But Rodgers believes there is no chance of complacency within his ranks, despite the Edinburgh club's recent record against English opposition.

He said: "It's certainly something that I've noticed in my short time here, that they are allergic to complacency.

"There is no question about that. They focus every day and their concentration is good.

"They'll understand the size of the task in terms of coming here and having to play well.

"I think Hearts will be better for that experience. They might have some regrets from last year.

"The game was over early on and it left them with an uphill task going forward. I'm sure they will be right up for this game."

Liverpool endured a disappointing start to the season with a 3-0 defeat at West Brom, which saw Daniel Agger sent-off.

The Anfield boss said: "We were obviously disappointed at the time.

"Like I said to them after the game, on reflection on the Monday, we could live that day 1,000 times over and it probably would never be worse than it was on the day. Everything went against us.

"They are a very honest group and they don't need telling that in terms of result it wasn't so good.

"But in terms of going forward, I learned things from the game, which is important, and there were some real good moments that, going forward, will be good for us."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Europa League: Everton boss Roberto Martinez delighted with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Roberto Martinez was delighted with Everton's display as they brushed aside Wolfsburg to win 4-1 in the Europa League.

Europa League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino hits out at Partizan banner

Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino was angered by the "unacceptable" anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan fans.

Europa League: Everton open Group H campaign with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Everton opened their Europa League Group H campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Mail Box

Why Doesn't Rodgers Play Borini?

One Liverpool supporter thinks this could be Fabio Borini's year, whilst we also have thoughts on the Red Bulls, Welbeck vs Gervinho and Paul Lambert's new deal...

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property