Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers: I'm still the best man to bring glory back to Anfield

By Ian Herbert

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted that he would back himself against anyone to meet the club's huge expectations, if he can "get the tools" to do the job.

Rodgers declared for the second time this season that he will "fight for his life" to be kept on as the club's manager, despite the dismal nature of their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa.

But with striker Daniel Sturridge injured indefinitely yet again, he made it clear that he needs the club to spend on a proven goalscorer this summer. Rodgers insisted that talk of the availability of Jurgen Klopp, whom Liverpool's American owners admire, was "the mark of being at such a huge club, a worldwide club".

He pointed out that three months ago he was being called a tactical genius for the new successful shift to 3-4-3 and claimed that Liverpool's "over-achievement" last season had led to unreasonable expectations now.

"I will hold myself up against anyone to manage this club and to fit the model of what they want," he said.

"In terms of what we are trying to do, I do not see anyone better in terms of the hand we were given.

"When I came in the team was eighth. We implemented a philosophy that was exciting and won games and nearly unexpectedly won the league and qualified for the Champions League.

"We've got to two cup semi-finals (this season), one of which we have not performed well in.

"The plan here and the focus is to be consistent and to be consistent winners; not to be 'nearly men'. We do not want that label. I will fight for my life, as I have said before, to be here and if I can get the tools here to help us we can be really successful."

Meanwhile, England midfielder Jordan Henderson has signed a new long-term deal with the Anfield club.

Henderson said: "There has been talk about it for a while now. I'm over the moon that it's finally done.

"It's brilliant news for me to commit my future to this football club - I really feel that it's a good time for us to look forward to the future, with the squad we've got, the manager, the size of the club and the fans we've got. I really think, over the next few years, we can challenge and start winning trophies."

And Rodgers believes Henderson signing a new contract should be taken as a sign that the future is bright on Merseyside.

The Ulsterman said: "Jordan is a brilliant professional and his dedication to his career and football in general makes him a role model to all young players.

"He has faced adversity in his time at Liverpool, but his improvement, growth and development is entirely down to his own hunger, commitment and willingness to learn and be better.

"The fact that he has made such a long-term commitment to Liverpool is a sign of his belief in what we are looking to do here.

"He will have a crucial role to play as we look to take this side forward and look to add success to the progress we have made.

"I'm very excited about our future and what this group can achieve; this announcement is another positive step forward."

Belfast Telegraph


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