Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed as an 'unbelievable coach' by Anfield startlet Ryan McLaughlin

By Steven Beacom

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been hailed as an 'unbelievable coach' by Anfield startlet Ryan McLaughlin, who is out to create history with Northern Ireland.

McLaughlin won his fourth cap as a substitute in the friendly against Scotland on Wednesday and would love to make it a high five tomorrow when Finland arrive at Windsor Park for a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier, though he admits such has been the form of the players in the Group F fixtures it is difficult to break into the side.

Nevertheless he has relished being part of his first campaign at full international level.

"It's been positive. We've won three out of four and have a good chance of qualifying," said McLaughlin, who has been delighted to see older brother Conor establish himself at right-back.

"Everyone talks about 1982 and 1986 when we reached World Cups, but you want to do something now and we believe we can."

McLaughlin, who has an image in his head of thousands of Northern Ireland fans heading to France in camper vans, has had a tough time with injuries this season, but is back playing for the reserves and enjoying working under Rodgers when he joins the first team squad.

"He is an unbelievable coach and has been doing very well at Liverpool," says the 20-year-old, who after a successful loan spell at Barnsley last season may opt for a similar path next term.

"He's a good man manager as well and takes time to talk to you about your life as well as your football which makes you feel important. There are the big players in the first team squad, but he always has time for the younger players and gives you advice on football and how to improve," added the Belfast boy, who tomorrow could become the first Liverpool player to feature for Northern Ireland at Windsor since goalkeeping icon Elisha Scott in 1933.

Belfast Telegraph