Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 May 2016

Brendan Rodgers should ignore refs and talk to his players

With Graham Luney

Published 01/01/2014

Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool were top of the table at Christmas
Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool were top of the table at Christmas

Brendan Rodgers had plenty to say at the end of 2013 and he wasn't just praising his players.

The Liverpool boss has been asked by the Football Association for "his observations" following his recent comments about referee Lee Mason.

Rodgers questioned the decision to appoint Mason to his side's Boxing Day Premier League defeat at Manchester City because he is from the Greater Manchester (Bolton) area.

The Carlough man has until tomorrow to respond to the request and the FA will then consider whether further action is necessary.

He's likely to face a financial penalty and be warned as to his future conduct.

Rodgers said he was "only speaking honestly after the game" but that won't spare him punishment.

The red revolution has gathered pace on Merseyside with Liverpool hitting the Premier League summit on Christmas Day but clashes against big-spending City and Chelsea were always going to be the acid test.

Rodgers' men failed them both and hitting out at referees will not attract much sympathy.

Perhaps the Pool boss should reserve most of his harsh words for his keeper Simon Mignolet, who made a hash of his attempt to keep out Alvaro Negredo's chip on Boxing Day before allowing Samuel Eto'o's shot to creep underneath him at Stamford Bridge.

Raheem Sterling also deserved the hairdryer for firing over with the goal at his mercy against City.

Brendan's New Year resolution will be to talk to his players – and leave the referees alone.

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