Brendan Rodgers will bounce back following Liverpool exit, says his mentor
The man responsible for launching the footballing career of Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his shock after the Carnlough-born Liverpool FC manager was sacked.
And although the mood among Reds fans in the Glens of Antrim was downbeat, they said they remained proud of their famous son.
Arthur McClean from Ballymena has star-spotted a number of top names in football, including Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, but he believes Rodgers will quickly bounce back.
Rodgers played for McClean's Star United as a teenager up to the age of 16. Yesterday McClean said the developments across the Irish Sea were a surprise, but that Rodgers will not be deflated for long.
"I think the club has panicked and they could have given him another month to see if he could turn things round," he said.
"He will bounce back, this will not put him off. He is very confident in his own ability."
In Carnlough there was also backing for the local lad who became manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world and who came close to leading them to a Premier League title.
Kop-supporting Gerry Burns, owner of The Bridge Inn, said local people will always be proud of Rodgers.
"The people in the village are gutted. Maybe he should have been given a bit more time. He is a local fella who has done well," he said.
"We are more than proud of him to come from a wee village like this and end up in a Premiership club like that. There are not too many people that would happen to.
"They are downhearted here tonight but he will bounce back, it is not the end of the world for him."
Liverpool supporters, including well-known fans from Northern Ireland like talkSPORT presenter Colin Murray and Cool FM's Pete Snodden, were saddened at the Anfield exit.
Murray said: "Brendan was a fantastic manager, a genuine guy and was very committed to the club.
"I personally would have left it a while before letting Brendan go, but that's the world of football these days."
Snodden said: "I am shocked, I didn't see it coming. I thought they would have stuck with him."
He said he will always support Liverpool, but there had been an added pride that a local man was at the helm. "I love supporting people from this part of the world who have done good," he said .