Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Werner backs progress under Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers, pictured, guided Liverpool to a seventh-place Premier League finish this season

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner claims manager Brendan Rodgers has made "remarkable progress" during his first year in charge.

The Northern Irishman succeeded Kenny Dalglish last June after the club icon was dismissed by owners Fenway Sports Group, who did not feel he was the man to take the club forward. In Barclays Premier League terms, Rodgers improved one place on Dalglish's final league position of eighth and cut the deficit to the top four from 17 to 12 points.

"I think Brendan has made remarkable progress," Werner told the Liverpool Echo. "He's a great strategist and has shown strong leadership as he has led the team through this season."

Liverpool scored 71 goals in the league, 24 more than last season, but results were not consistent enough, with many of those goals coming in one-sided defeats of teams below them.

They also managed just one victory - at home to Tottenham in March - in the 12 matches against the top six.

Nevertheless, Werner believes Rodgers' changes to the team and set-up behind the scenes suggest a positive future and they are prepared to back him in the summer transfer market.

He added: "Obviously there is disappointment that we didn't finish higher in the table but the team has certainly improved as the season has gone on.

"To see the new additions in January, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, perform so well has been very positive to see.

"We scored a lot more goals than last season. The 38 away league goals was the club's highest number in a league season since 1990. The club is definitely moving in the right direction under Brendan.

"Our intention is to strengthen the squad further this summer and as owners we're very optimistic and excited about the future."

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