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Rodgers is man to make Liverpool great again: Callaghan

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has got the backing from record appearance holder for the club, Ian Callaghan

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has got the backing from record appearance holder for the club, Ian Callaghan

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has got the backing from record appearance holder for the club, Ian Callaghan

Liverpool's greatest servant Ian Callaghan is confident that Brendan Rodgers is on the right track after completing his first season as boss at Anfield.

In what was a mixed campaign, Liverpool, who played attractive football and scored plenty of goals, finished in seventh place in the Premier League, were knocked out early in the domestic cup competitions and reached the last 32 of the Europa League.

As Rodgers pointed out there was 'disappointment and delight' but Kop icon Callaghan says he saw enough over the past 10 months to suggest the future can be bright for the Reds with the Ulsterman at the helm.

“I've met Brendan and he's a really nice guy. The impression I get from him is that he loves being at Liverpool,” Callaghan told the Belfast Telegraph.

“From the team's point of view some of the games that I attended last season we warranted better results than we got because we played so well, especially against the big teams. I can see he wants to play good football and his style is to push the ball around, like he did when he was at Swansea.

“I was at a dinner some weeks ago and Brendan was the guest speaker and he said that he would like another four or five players to come in during the summer to add more quality to the squad.

“He seems to be a very thorough man in everything that he does and I look forward to his signings and I have every confidence that the team will do well next season.”

At the start of each of the last four seasons Liverpool have had a different manager — Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Rodgers as they search for consistency and a top four place in the Premier League.

Callaghan, who remains Liverpool's record appearance holder, hopes and believes the Carnlough native will be given the time to make the Merseyside outfit title challengers again, having last won the championship in 1990.

“The one thing that every Liverpool supporter wants is to see the team challenging for the title again because we haven't won one for over 20 years,” says Callaghan.

“That is the main aim of Liverpool Football Club is to win the Premier League and Brendan, who has a three year contract, will be looking to challenge next season or the season after.

“Making us a genuine force again will take time and I think he will get that time. You can't keep going on changing managers and the supporters I talk to are right behind Brendan and what he is trying to do for the club.”

Rodgers, of course, will have to move forward with his plans without Jamie Carragher, who retired following Liverpool's last game of the season on Sunday — a 1-0 win at home to QPR when the defender smashed the ball against the post with a stunning 35-yard effort.

Carragher made 737 appearances for the Reds and is second only to Callaghan in games played for the club. Callaghan, now 71 and a winner of two European Cups, two Uefa Cups, five league championships and two FA Cups with Liverpool turned out a remarkable 857 times in an Anfield career that began in 1960 and ended in 1978.

“It was a sad day on Sunday in many ways because Carra has had such a fantastic career,” added Callaghan, one of football's true gentlemen.

“He's been around for so long and had such an influence on the team that he is going to be very hard to replace.

“Records are there to be broken and if someone was going to break my number of appearances for Liverpool I hoped it would be Carra. Now he has retired, he hasn't so the next one to look for is Stevie Gerrard. I'm a great admirer of Stevie G. Without doubt he's one of the best players in the world and is one of the greatest players ever for Liverpool, if not the greatest.”

Belfast Telegraph