Rodgers hails 'brilliant' fans who recognise his Liverpool project will take time
14:59 GMT, 27 September 2012
Brendan Rodgers has praised the 'realism' of Liverpool supporters in recognising it will take time to rebuild a team capable of achieving past glories.
Rodgers celebrated his first domestic win since becoming Reds boss via last night's 2-1 win at West Brom in the Capital One Cup which earned the holders a home tie with Swansea in the fourth round.
But the 4,000 fans who made the trip to the Hawthorns were constantly chanting Rodgers' name even after a young Liverpool side had gone a goal behind.
Young guns: Adam Morgan and Raheem Sterling in action
Rodgers said: 'They've been brilliant for me. The Liverpool supporters are very educated and clever.
'They understand our resources were
really stretched and the support they've given, the team more
importantly and myself, has been incredible from my first day here.
'I think the biggest thing we've got now at Liverpool is the reality, the real situation we are in.
'This is an iconic club in world football but we are not at that level as a team.
'It is going to take time to build and create an identity again to hopefully get to that level.
'But the fans see we are working hard
to do that and, when you fight for your life as a manager and players,
then supporters normally respond to that.'
Rodgers has only a dozen senior
players fit for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at Norwich and
he made 11 changes against the Baggies from the side beaten by
But the likes of two-goal Nuri Sahin –
on loan from Real Madrid – and winger Oussama Assaidi showed they could
soon be challenging for more regular action.
Rodgers said: 'At the moment I've actually got 12 fit senior players which is incredible really.
'But I'll always irrespective of age,
look at young players. If a young player has got the talent, the
personality and ability to learn, and the courage to get on the ball,
I'll always look at him.
Pulling the strings: Brendan Rodgers directs his players in training
'We travelled to Europe last week against a very good Young Boys side and put in a wonderful performance.
'Last night 99.9% of people watching
thought it would be a comfortable win for West Brom but the performance
level was again excellent.
'It is always exciting to see young players, young guys with great technique.'
Rodgers insists senior and young players have bought into his philosophies since taking charge at Anfield.
He said: 'Top players want to play
football. Every footballer will tell you the best thing in the game
apart from scoring goals is having the ball.
'You saw Steven Gerrard against Manchester United at the weekend, when he was the outstanding player on the field.
Skipper: Steven Gerrard leaps for a header
'Whether it is a young or senior
player, all players want to play football and all I try to do is build
that framework and give them that confidence to go and play.'
Midfielder Jordan Henderson admits to
being excited at the pool of developing talent emerging at Liverpool as
he set his sights on establishing himself as a first team regular.
He said: 'There is a lot of young talent coming through and they are so enthusiastic and want to do really well.
'It is a real plus and if we can just keep going and keep improving, then we are definitely going in the right direction.
'Assaidi has been brilliant, he has come in and done really well and settled in really well.
'He did well at Young Boys on his debut, and has done really well in training.
'Hopefully he can keep on improving and keep getting better and it is a massive plus for us.
'Sahin showed his class as well with the two finishes and did well throughout the game as well.
Charge: Joe Allen on the move
'We were delighted with the performance and hopefully we can build on that for Saturday at Norwich.'
Henderson added: 'I want to play in
every game as long as I'm fit. When I get the opportunity, I need to
make sure I do it right and hopefully get in the starting eleven for the
'There is a lot of competition but that's good for a big club like Liverpool, especially with the young lads doing well.
'That's what we need, we need everyone pushing each other.'
Meanwhile, Rodgers has spoken to chief Mike Riley about the way officials have treated his team this season.
Rodgers is unhappy that key decisions have gone against Liverpool and is at a loss to understand why.
The Reds boss, having seen striker Luis Suarez denied what he felt were two penalties in their last two matches, was prepared to bide his time even after Jonjo Shelvey's red card and Antonio Valencia's penalty award against Manchester United on Sunday.
Red card: Jonjo Shelvey was sent off controversially against Man United
But having been frustrated again by refereeing calls in last night's Capital One Cup win at West Brom, he felt he needed to put his point across to the head of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd.
'I rang Mike Riley this morning. I think he was expecting me to call him a bit earlier,' said Rodgers.
'It has just become quite obvious, especially after last night's game.
'Jordan Henderson had a horrendous challenge on him and the player was not even booked, yet Andre Wisdom made a really good tackle and won the ball and got booked for it – and there have been a number of incidences.
'Us being a sporting team, and going by the letter of the law, decisions seem to pass us by.
'We've had a few sendings-off, a few penalties given against us and absolutely nothing we've been given at all so I hope that changes.
'We would hope we would get better decisions over the next few weeks.'