Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Rodgers plays down Martinez factor

Manager Brendan Rodgers, left, is targeting an improvement in Liverpool's home form

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not feel he has to prove the club got the right man when Wigan's Roberto Martinez arrives at Anfield on Saturday.

The Spaniard was in the running to take over from the sacked Kenny Dalglish and cut short a family holiday to meet Reds principal owner John Henry in Florida over the summer. Martinez still maintains he was offered the job and turned it down - Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre insists Rodgers was their first choice.

But that is of little consequence to Rodgers, who said: "I have a lot of respect for Roberto. He is a guy who has been at the top of the game now for a few years in this country. Our philosophies are along the same lines in terms of how we want to work."

He added: "I don't know if he was close to getting it or not but it is a game that is purely about us getting the points. Maybe (it is not) for other people but for myself there is no addition to the game other than that we are in a good moment.

"We want to turn draws into wins because we are showing our character and resilience at the moment. The players are bleeding the tank dry every week for me, pushing everything into the game, and I just hope we can get the rewards for that and get the wins."

Rodgers took heart from the point his side earned in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea in their last outing, saying: "We have shown great resilience to come back like we did last weekend without playing particularly well but it is important we win games, especially at home."

Liverpool's home record, and not just under Rodgers, is an issue in itself. Just three Barclays Premier League victories have been registered at Anfield in 2012, with just one of those coming this season.

Only six points have been accrued from a possible 18 at home - on the road they have a similar total from five games - and Rodgers knows it is a record which has to change.

"The point is no good at Stamford Bridge if we don't win (at home)," he added. "The players are giving everything in the games, they are pressing and working very well and they just need a bit of luck and that touch of confidence.

"Once we get that, we will go on and improve. We just need to win games, which is important if you want to climb the league and that is what we want to do. We have to be looking to take maximum points from our home games."

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