Saturday, April 19, 2014
Liverpool chief Brendan Rodgers has backed Neil Adams to follow his lead and prove his worth at Premier League level.
Adams has emulated the Northern Irishman’s career path from academy football to the elite after replacing Chris Hughton earlier this month. Rodgers learned his trade at Reading and Chelsea before embarking on an upward trajectory which could see him land the Reds’ first title since 1990. The Liverpool boss was sorry to see Hughton depart, but feels Adams can make a success of his new role.
“The new coach has come in and he’ll have worked at youth level, which is a great starting point for any coach,” he said. “I had many years as a youth coach and you learn about systems and tactics and different sides. Then you hope that you have the courage and conviction when you get the opportunity under pressure to put those into place.
“I felt for Chris Hughton, because it’s a difficult job. The objective for Norwich, I’m sure, is to ensure they stay in the Premier League and I think he was well on the way to doing that. He had some big results at home. It was difficult away from home.”
Rodgers’ charity towards the new man does not extend to letting three crucial points slip at Carrow Road as the Reds’ edge ever closer to that elusive first Premier League crown.
“We never look too far ahead – that’s key in order to manage that expectancy,” Rodgers told Liverpool’s official site. “It doesn’t matter about Chelsea, Crystal Palace or Newcastle – we have to do the job against Norwich first. We focus on our performance level and that takes our mind off a lot of the other external factors and background noise that may come your way.
“You’ve got to manage expectations, it’s part of the leadership role. We’ve never got too carried away. Around the training ground, we’re very much focused on what we’re doing. Look at our performance last weekend; everyone was looking at how we would fare against Manchester City – one of the great squads in Europe. For the first 45 minutes we were unplayable and that was against a group of top players that have scored a lot of goals this season. We showed in the other parts of the game our resilience and focus, and our concentration to win. That’s what we’ve been working daily.”