Rodgers - Minor change key to Liverpool success

Brendan Rogers
Brendan Rogers

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers does not think he will have to make major changes in order for his new side to start getting full value for their performances.

The Reds dominated numerous matches last season, particularly at home, but just six wins and nine draws at Anfield contributed to an eighth-place finish which cost Kenny Dalglish his job.

Rodgers admits his predecessor probably deserved to get a greater return of points from those games and believes the foundations which the Scot left means with a tweak and a slight change of emphasis he can recover that lost ground.

“If you look at Liverpool’s record last season Kenny was very unlucky because there were so many games they dominated but just failed to hit the back of the net,” he said.

“Defensively they were reasonably strong so it is a case of improving on what has been happening over the last couple of years and giving the players confidence to go and win games.”

The way Rodgers’ former club Swansea played possession football was likened, on a smaller scale, to the approach adopted by Barcelona and Spain.

And as the Spanish have just retained their European Championship crown, becoming the first nation to win three successive major titles - one of which was the World Cup - he needs no convincing that the right approach will deliver results.

“Any football team, especially when you play possession football, has to limit the opposition to few chances,” he told talkSPORT.

“Last year we (Swansea) used to defend with the ball and people in this country don’t seem to understand that, they think you defend without the ball.

“But it is all about penetration and that is what I will look to bring here.

“Possession is no good on its own, it has to be with penetration.”

The 39-year-old manager is relishing the start of the new season in his first high-profile role and admits he is lifted by the thought of going into work every day.

“It is very much inspiring. This is a real footballing institution,” he added.

“I walk in every day to the training ground here and you’ve got the European Cup, a little bust of Bill Shankly, and as I sit in my office I’ve got a great photograph of some of the great players and managers of the past.

“For me, I embrace that because it is very inspirational and in no way intimidating.

“I’m just looking forward to playing a part in hopefully changing the history of the club - but that is for the longer term.”

In the short term Rodgers is confident he can fend off any interest in Luis Suarez as the striker has no desire to leave and the club want him to sign a new contract.

Reports have suggested Italian champions Juventus are ready to make a move for the Uruguay international if they get any indication he is not entirely happy on Merseyside.

However, Rodgers is adamant the 25-year-old, who had a difficult time last season having been banned for eight matches after the race row with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, wants to be part of his new regime at Anfield and the club are certainly keen to tie him down to a new deal.

“I’ve had a brilliant chat with Luis,” said Rodgers.

“He’s really looking forward to being here and we are obviously hoping that we can get him on to another new contract.

“He’s really looking forward to the new season.”