Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Rodgers stunned by Mackay situation

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he is astonished at the treatment of Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he is astonished at the treatment of Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has sprung to the defence of Cardiff counterpart Malky Mackay, accusing the Welsh club's owner Vincent Tan of "knowing nothing about football".

The Bluebirds visit Anfield on Saturday after a week in which there has been a public fall out between Mackay and Tan over transfers, leading to more speculation over the manager's future.

Their first season in the Barclays Premier League has seen further off-field strife with the sacking of head of recruitment Iain Moody, who was replaced by someone with no football background and a friend of Tan's son.

Rodgers finds it unbelievable that the situation has been allowed to develop as it has.

"I find it incredible all the talk about Malky, who I know well from working with him at Watford," said the former Swansea boss.

"I find it astonishing what he has had to go through. This is a guy who walked into Cardiff after they had lost in the play-off semi-finals and they waited two weeks to sack the manager Dave Jones on the day we (Swansea) were in the final - which I found strange.

"Malky walked into the club with 10 players that summer and he totally transformed the mentality of the club.

"He took them to the Carling Cup final, to a play-off place and just lost out and the following season took them to the championship and promotion.

"He has had great results this season and is going to go on and be a great manager at a big club and I find it absolutely astonishing there is talk about him leaving there.

"I worked with Iain Moody at Watford, one of the most authentic people you could ever meet.

"My only conclusion is you have a business guy operating the club who knows absolutely nothing about football.

"He has obviously been a successful businessman - congratulations but football is like no other business.

"When I see what Malky has had to put up with, to see him being questioned I find it remarkable.

"Especially when supporters there look up to him and respect him for what he's done."

Liverpool also found themselves with owners who knew nothing about football when Fenway Sports Group took over in October 2010.

However, Rodgers said the Americans have spent time learning the ropes in terms of owning and running the club and were prepared to be patient.

"They have a strategy," he said.

"When I look at decisions being made about managers this week it makes me really appreciate the decision to come here.

"The owners have been so supportive of me but ultimately they had a strategy, a vision in terms of how they wanted to work.

"They brought someone in and trusted them to give them that time to implement it.

"We have some way to go in order to be where I want us to be but it is clear we are making progress and you have to give the owners clear credit for that.

"Never once have I felt under any pressure. If they are putting you under extreme pressure in a short period of time it may affect decision-making.

"Even in the most difficult moments in the first six months here, when we didn't have a lot of coaching

time with the players, they were strong and committed in terms of the choice they made.

"Hopefully over the longer term they will get rewards for that because they have shown strategically they know where they want the club to go and they are prepared to give it the time to evolve."

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