Rodgers rings ref boss to defend Suarez and calls for end to victimisation
22:56 GMT, 27 September 2012
Brendan Rodgers has leapt to the defence of Luis Suarez after ringing Mike Riley to seek answers that Liverpool are not being victimised by referees.
Rodgers spoke to PGMO chief Riley on Thursday, having reached the end of his tether with some of the decisions that have been taken against his side.
Liverpool, who are yet to win in the Barclays Premier League, have not had a penalty so far and two players have been contentiously sent-off.
Taking a tumble: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not believe Luis Suarez is treated fairly by referees
The Liverpool manager, whose side face Norwich on Saturday, outlined his grievances to Riley after Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson claimed Suarez, who was denied a spot-kick against Manchester United last week, is being unfairly treated.
It is a view with which Rodgers agrees ‘My main concern is that we have not had the rub of the green,’ said Rodgers. ‘I rang Mike and he was probably expecting me to call a bit earlier.
‘I have seen lots of decisions go against us. I’m still waiting for the assessor from the Manchester United game to call. It is just something that I feel is important – that we are not getting targeted. It is important that referees understand we have real honest players.
‘Luis is a wonderful talent. If he goes down in the area, it is a penalty. But from what I have seen so far, it looks like he is not going to get a decision.’ The tipping point for Rodgers came in Wednesday’s excellent win at West Brom in the League Cup when a late tackle on Jordan Henderson from Solomon Mulumbu, similar to the one for which Jonjo Shelvey was red card for his foul on Jonny Evans, went unpunished.
Treat him right: Suarez in training ahead of the game with Norwich
‘The game against West Brom is a good example,’ said Rodgers, who has not ruled out the prospect of Daniel Agger making a quick return to action at Carrow Road after being stretchered off last Sunday. ‘Jordan received a terrible tackle and their player (Mulumbu) wasn’t booked.
‘The Andre Wisdom makes a really good tackle in return and gets booked. We play here to the letter of the law, in the right spirit, but maybe in this opening period it hasn’t worked. Does diving on the floor mean you might get the decision We have to be careful with that.
Pulling the strings: Brendan Rodgers directs his players in training
’I just said to Mike we have to be careful that we don't discourage people and players who are trying to respect the game.It is not something we are going to encourage. We want to win the game but we want to win it by fair means.’