Rodgers not spooked by Stags

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists an FA Cup tie at a non-league ground holds no fears for him.

Last Updated: 05/01/13 at 13:53 Post Comment

Rodgers: Takes Reds to Mansfield

Rodgers: Takes Reds to Mansfield

Consistency issues have dogged Liverpool all season but manager Brendan Rodgers insists an FA Cup tie at a non-league ground holds no fears for him.

The Reds head to Blue Square conference side Mansfield on Sunday on the back of two successive Barclays Premier League wins.

However, they have won three games in a row only once since October 2011 and that was last month when victories over Southampton and West Ham sandwiched a tight Europa League success over Udinese.

And while Rodgers is set to rest key players like Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard he remains confident they have enough to get through the third-round tie - something Liverpool have failed to do in three of the last six years.

"Our preparation is exactly the same as if we were playing Manchester United and our focus is to go there and win," he said.

"You know these games can be tricky but if you do your job right and you compete then your quality should come through.

"It is up to us to get the job done and move on.

"Some of the players have played a lot in the league, so it's an opportunity for them to recuperate.

"But I would never put the tie at risk because it's a tournament we want to do well in.

"Sometimes these early rounds can be the most difficult. I'll do what I've always done - pick a team to win.

"It's about being professional and doing our job. If we do that, we'll be fine.

"You've got to make sure you get your approach right. If you do that, you hope your qualities come through."

New £12million signing Daniel Sturridge is likely to be only among the substitutes as he bids for match fitness after his move from Chelsea.

Therefore, it will be left to some of the players who have so far failed to deliver for Rodgers in his first six months in charge to ensure the job gets done for last season's runners-up.

Rodgers hopes a good cup run will boost momentum as he looks to string together a run of results after taking nine points from a possible 12 over the festive period, including wins in their last two games.

"Those two performances show the confidence in the group," added the Reds boss.

"When you lose a game like we did at Stoke (3-1 on Boxing Day) - and we were nowhere near our level that night - maybe we could have come out of that with our confidence affected.

"But to go to QPR (3-0) and play how we did, get the goals and keep a clean sheet and then you play how we did against Sunderland (3-0) then it really shows the courage and confidence in the team.

"The trick now is, second part of the season, to continue that and keep the focus, concentration and look to improve our performance level.

"For us this a game to continue our good form and momentum.

"There's no doubt the cup gives you momentum.

"We've got two trophies to play for this season and we're looking to push on in the league as well.

"We're hoping every game is a cup final for us between now and the end of the season."

There are some concerns over the state of Mansfield's pitch but Rodgers is not duly worried.

"I understand everywhere is not like Anfield but we have to take what each game gives us," he said.

"The state of the pitch doesn't concern us."


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