Belfast Telegraph

Brendan Rodgers spoke of rebuilding job prior to Liverpool sacking

Brendan Rodgers may not have known his tenure as Liverpool manager was only a couple of hours away from ending but his tone in the wake of the 1-1 Merseyside derby draw hinted he had his suspicions.

Having watched his side concede yet another lead as Romelu Lukaku cancelled out Danny Ings' header, the Northern Irishman's words carry more weight with the benefit of hindsight.

Asked whether he thought his attempts to regain the form which saw them very nearly win the title two seasons ago might be halted by owners Fenway Sports Group, he replied: "If we are to replicate what we did we will have to build something.

"That will take time, whether that is me or someone else. While it is me, I will continue to devote every ounce to the club.

"I have never felt anything other than secure. That is not being complacent. I was brought here to do a job, I signed a new deal (in May 2014) and the owners know it takes time."

That time ran out very quickly as his services were soon dispensed with via a trans-Atlantic phone call from FSG's management executive.

Back on match issues Everton manager Roberto Martinez was disappointed not to end a winless run in the derby which stretches back to 2010.

Despite dominating the second half they could not find the crucial second goal, although that may have been different had Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva been shown a second yellow card for a foul on Ross Barkley instead of being let off by a lenient Martin Atkinson.

"It is one of those games we are not going to agree with the result," Martinez said.

"Our performance was good enough to get the three points but you need to earn them and I don't think we had that bit of luck you need in front of goal.

"Simon Mignolet was outstanding and we are disappointed with the goal we conceded but the reaction was pleasing.

"In the second half we carried real danger and that little bit of composure would have given us three points."

Martinez questioned Atkinson's reasoning for deciding not to caution Lucas which would have meant he had to send off the midfielder.

"I don't understand that decision. Lucas was very clever. His technical fouls were very clever but the second one was from behind and should have been given a yellow card.

"Martin has a clear view. We should have played against 10 men in the last 15 minutes."

One of the major positives for Everton was the display from Lukaku, especially once he scored his goal as he gave Liverpool's defenders a torrid time.

"The hold-up play from Rom was the strongest we have had in an Everton shirt," he added.

"He locked three centre-halves and we played around him."


From Belfast Telegraph