March 10 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has challenged his players to step into the void left by injured England striker Daniel Sturridge ahead of Norwich City’s Premier League visit to Anfield.
Sturridge has been ruled out until mid-January with an ankle problem and the forward was sorely missed in the surprise 3-1 weekend defeat against Hull on Humberside. Rodgers admits Sturridge and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez have had to carry the goalscoring burden this campaign, but the Northern Irish boss believes it is now time for others to shine.
“Of course, we’re a better team whenever we have both at the top of their game, but like we have done in the past, we’ll find different ways to win,” he said. “We’re not going to succeed if we can only rely on those two and we can’t rely on one player (Suarez) – it has to be about the team and that’s what we’ll focus on. The responsibility is for the people coming in and for the rest of the team. We have to find a different way of getting the result.
“It probably surprised us how serious it was but the scans don’t lie. It’s just really unfortunate. When you’re that level of player, the idea is to be fit every day and to play in every game and I think he has shown that when he plays, his goal record is fantastic. We just hope he can get back quickly. He recovers very well. We’ll soldier on with what we have and the players, I know, will give absolutely everything.”
Rodgers could be forced into the January transfer market to plug the attacking deficit which was painfully evident against the Tigers in the absence of both Sturridge and playmaker Phillippe Coutinho.
“I think every window for us will be exactly the same – if there’s a player we think can improve our squad and in particular the team, I’m sure we will be able to go out and get that player,” he said. “It was always going to be the case that if we had a few injuries to key players, that leaves us light. It’s no different to a lot of squads, but for us it’s even more prominent because Daniel and young Philippe were not playing and they are good players. Coutinho allows you to penetrate – I think that was one of the things that was missing from our performance. We were too slow and too predictable, then when he came onto the pitch, people started to run beyond and get forward because he plays the forward pass.”