Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers wants his team to step up against Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has called his team to give in their best against a quality Tottenham side.
With the team already missing striker Daniel Sturridge and left-back Jose Enrique, Liverpool will now be without captain Steven Gerrard who is sidelined by a hamstring strain until mid-January. Liverpool enter a testing festive time where the club has to play five teams in a space of seventeen days and that too, without three of their first-choice line up.
But the Northern Irishman is not in a complaining and cynical mindset. Instead he believes that this is the time for the rest of the squad to show their worth:
We’ve lost three players who would be starting if they were available and we’ve been unfortunate with injuries, but we’re not going to moan or cry about it. We are coming into a really busy schedule where we will be stretched and tested but it’s one where we have to pull through it. This is a chance for the team to show their quality and their solidarity. Some players here have been working very hard and have never had the chance to play. Some of them will get that chance over the coming weeks. When you get a chance you have to embrace it and show the qualities you have. We’ve just come out of a run of 10 points out of 15. Now we enter another phase of five games from Tottenham through to Hull.
Rogers said that Liverpool will have to cope without Gerrard and do the best they can with what they have:
Of course you will miss someone of the quality and status of Steven. He has been outstanding for us this season. But we can’t go on about it too much. As a group we have to come together. When Daniel Sturridge wasn’t playing we won games, when Luis Suarez wasn’t playing we won games. Now we have do the same. Steven will work tirelessly to get back ahead of schedule and we will keep working with the players who are available. Steven will still be there encouraging the players. That’s what makes him such a great captain – he’s all about the team. And we have shown as a team sitting in second place in the league that we have enough quality and that the mentality here is strong. We will go and attack every game like we have done. We have lost some very important players but we will do the best with the players we have.
Rodgers is sure that the central midfielder comprising the trio of Henderson, Allen and Leiva will meet the challenge of facing sides without league captain Gerrard with enthusiasm:
All three of them are international players and I am sure they are looking forward to the challenge
The Liverpool manager is not sure who will wear the armband in the absence of captain Gerrard and feels he is spoilt for choice with so many options:
The captaincy hasn’t been decided yet. We are fortunate to have a number of players who could do the job. Glen Johnson is an experienced player, Martin Skrtel is an international captain, Daniel Agger is an international captain and Luis Suarez captained Ajax. “We have enough senior players who can take on that leadership role while Steven is out.”
Rodgers has also given credit to Villas-Boas’ Tottenham saying they have done ‘terrific’:
People look at Spurs and question how they have done but I think they have done terrific. We know from last season that it can be difficult juggling European and domestic games. But they won all their Europa League games, have real depth in their squad and are right up there in the Premier League. This is a league where it’s very difficult to gain consistency as if aren’t at 100% you get caught out. That’s why teams are so close together.They are three points behind us and have spent an extremely large amount of money which will probably see them wanting to be a lot higher. It should be an outstanding game.
The Liverpool boss doesn’t care that Liverpool lost in their last visit to White Hart Lane:
In any game, particularly away, you need to be strong and look to dictate the game early on. But we were 2-0 down before we even got started. Our reaction after that was outstanding and we really should have got something from it.
Rodgers is however confident ahead of this encounter confident as a result of two back to back victories:
We go into this game on the back of two outstanding performances at home and with confidence high. We know we can go anywhere and get goals.