Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Rodgers wants to emulate Anfield greats

Brendan Rodgers

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no concerns about following club icon Kenny Dalglish at Anfield, but hopes one day his own achievements will put him alongside the likes of the Scot, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.

The 39-year-old conducted himself impressively as he was presented to the media having been officially confirmed as the man owners Fenway Sports Group hope will deliver their vision to restore the Reds' former glories.

Rodgers said: "I can only be Brendan Rodgers and do the very best I can for the football club. What I want to do is prove my worth, honesty and commitment to Liverpool. History judges you as the manager, that is the reality. I hope my history here will allow me to walk beside many of the great managers."

Rodgers was initially approached two weeks ago but refused to entertain the idea of being just another number in a long line of potential candidates FSG were sounding out.

He insisted he was not worried by his rejection of the Reds' advances and his confidence in his own ability bore fruit when they returned a second time with a much more positive message.

It was an approach he admitted he would have been foolish to turn down. "I just moved on straight from it," he said of Liverpool's initial approach.

"I was very clear when the chairman (Huw Jenkins) rang me and said he had an offer from them asking to speak. I said 'Did they say I was the number one target?' and he said 'No, they just want to speak to you'.

"I said 'Fine. I have no reason to be in a process if I'm not the number one candidate'. I didn't want to disrespect the values of Liverpool and I didn't want to disrespect Swansea, I just wanted to continue my work.

"But then when Liverpool come calling a second time you need to be a brave man to turn it down. I am brave in what I do and what I play but for me when they came back and said I was the number one target I would have walked here."

Meanwhile, Dalglish voiced his support for his successor, writing on Twitter: "Congratulations to Brendan and good luck to everyone at LFC."

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