Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pressure on Opponents insists Rodgers

MANAGER Brendan Rodgers guided his Liverpool side back to the top of the Premier League on Sunday after a three-month gap, but insisted the pressure remained with rivals Chelsea and Manchester City.

A resounding 4-0 win over Tottenham courtesy of an own goal from Younes Kaboul after just 100 seconds and one apiece from Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson gave the Reds a two-point advantage at the top and enhanced belief they could end a 24-year wait for the title.

The last time Liverpool were top of the league was at Christmas, but they dropped out of the top four with two defeats to Chelsea and City.

However, with both teams still to come to Anfield next month, Rodgers was asked whether they were the ones under pressure.

“I believe so,” he said. “I don’t think anyone expected us to be where we are, especially as the last two seasons we were eighth and seventh, and it has just allowed us to develop at our own pace.

“We go to every game to win but what has been great to see has been the idea and methodology of our work bearing fruit in the game.

“There are some great teams up there and world-class managers so we understand it’s going to be difficult but we just do what we can do and see where it takes us.

“For us the mantra has always been to focus on the next game, we never get too carried away.

“It is very difficult; there’s lots of people are dreaming about Liverpool winning the title but for me it is installing in the players that there’s a process, it’s not just about the end result.

“It’s been about simple hard work and focus and concentration. There are only 18 points to play for but you can only take three at a time – Upton Park [against West Ham next weekend] will be a tough game for us but our confidence and belief is at a good level.”

Rodgers said the demolition of Spurs – they have scored nine goals against them without reply this season, which is their best-ever return – proved his players can handle expectations.

“I have said all along I feel that when there are pressure situations the players can cope,” he said.

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