Liverpool face West Ham United this weekend and Brendan Rodgers discussed the Spurs game, the title race and the importance of fans in his pre match conference.
Brendan Rodgers’s side go into this match with the confidence of eight wins on the trot, and topping the table with a two point gap over second placed Chelsea. Pundits, fans and critics are all regarding this season as the Reds first serious chance of winning the league since the 08-09 season and while the title might be unprecedented, it looks highly likely with the momentum the club is in.
Brendan Rodgers addressed questions on the title race and maintained that there was still a long way to go to attain that:
“Our objective was always to qualify for the Champions League. I think if we trace it back to beginning of season I think everyone recognised that was going to be a really difficult task for us to do that.”
“We are in a great position at this moment. The finish line is quite a way out. People are looking at it thinking it’s nearly there but there’s still a way to go and a lot of work to do”
“It’s great for the players and supporters to dream but we’re calm and focused on what our job is.”
Manchester City and Chelsea have been considered the title favorites since the beginning of the season but Rodgers said that he doesn’t worry about the other teams and focuses on his own:
“We can’t afford to worry about any other teams, Man City’s whole squad is full of outstanding players, they’ve got an excellent manager and a club that been building now for few years.”
“Chelsea have some top experience players, a world class manager and if I spend my time worrying about the rivals and what they’ve got I’ll be wasting my time and energy.”
“It’s about the players – it’s great for them to dream and the supporters, that’s what it’s about. But we’re also very calm and very focussed on what our job is.”
Rodgers hailed the supporters, who in his belief, have been instrumental in taking the club so far, and on instances, have got the club ‘over the line’.
“They’re vital. I think we’ve seen some from the images last weekend at Anfield, it was amazing. The Kop was in full bloom last week. It was a real sight to behold.
“They’re a real iconic group of supporters, the flags the support and the noise. The noise was cranked up last week and that will intensify.”
“The support home and away has been brilliant.”
“It’s [the noise of the supporters] everything for us. We’ve had a number of games here I’ve genuinely felt supporters got us over the line and it’s a real intimidating place to come.”The atmosphere inside the ground for an opponent, it’s a difficult place to come into.”
Liverpool go into this match confidently after defeating Tottenham last week with a comfortable 4-0 margin and the Norther Irishman praised that performance citing it as ‘psychologically’, the best of the season:
“There’s no doubt we are playing with confidence and the victory over Tottenham was psychologically our best victory of the season because of some of the back ground noise going into the game of pressure and having to win.”
“The level of which we played at, the control and the calmness of performance showed us that there’s real confidence in the team.”
Rodgers also commented on the calmness shown by the squad at this particular time where sides fall vulnerable to pressure:
“It’s something that I’m witnessing – I’m not surprised by that. The idea for us to play how we play is in order to take the pressure off the players.
“They need to focus on the football, they need to focus on their technique and they need to focus on performance. That removes the pressures of having to win, because we know that when we play like we’ve played, we will win games.
“The tenacity of the team to press – and work, first and foremost – is there. They are all very competitive at the moment as well.”