Rodgers not worried about flight delay as Liverpool prepare for Hammers test
08:57 GMT, 8 December 2012
Brendan Rodgers has expressed confidence that Liverpool’s delayed return from their Europa League trip to Italy will not compromise their ambitions at West Ham tomorrow.
Liverpool were due to fly home straight following their 1-0 win over Udinese on Thursday night but they were grounded in Trieste airport after a problem was detected with their aircraft, while it was taxing to the runway.
Rodgers and his squad were kept on the plane for more than an hour while investigations were carried out before engineers confirmed that the fault in the left engine could not be repaired, forcing them to stay overnight in Italy.
No worries: Brendan Rodgers expects Liverpool to be ready for West Ham
A new aircraft was sent out to Trieste to collect them yesterday and the party arrived touchdown at John Lennon Airport at 3.30pm, some 15 hours later than had been scheduled.
There will be little chance for them to rest, as Liverpool will today (SAT) travel to London for their game at Upton Park but Rodgers does not feel his preparations have been overly-effected by the unforeseen issue.
‘It doesn’t overly affect us really,’ said Rodgers, whose side made it through to the Europa League’s last 32 as winners of Group A thanks to Jordan Henderson’ s goal. ‘It’s not ideal, of course, but we still have one more session before we play West Ham and we’ve been able to recover well.
‘The players had a good rest overnight, even though we only got back into the hotel late, at about 2.30am. The day after game it’s about the nutritional needs and physical needs of the players – they are what is important. But we could take care of that in the hotel.
Marching on: Liverpool beat Udinese to progress in the Europa League
‘It’s only an issue if you make it an issue. Sometimes it’s like how life is; it’s not always plain sailing – especially when you’re flying! It’s one we cannot control but we can control our mind-set and how we recover. Our recuperation has been fantastic.’
An added bonus for Rodgers is his squad will be bolstered at West Ham by the return of Steven Gerrard, who never travelled to Italy with illness, and Daniel Agger and Lucas Leiva, both of whom were rested in midweek.
Rodgers added: ‘We will have a final session tomorrow and will go to game on Sunday with no excuse. We have finished top of our group in a European tournament – for us we’re in a good moment and we’ll take it into Sunday’s game.’