Rush praises Liverpool's Rodgers

Published Thursday, 22 November 2012
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Carnlough's Brendan Rodgers has been given the seal of approval by Liverpool legend Ian Rush.

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The side's leading goal scorer was at Belfast City Hall this week at the IFA community awards night, and spoke to UTV Sport about Anfield's newest manager.

"He's trying to play the right football," said Ian, who spent 15 years at Liverpool during the 1980s and 90s.

"We've come unstuck a couple of times but I think again you've got to be brave and stick with it and he's doing that now, but it's not going to happen overnight.

"I think Brendan needs to be given time, and I think he will be given time by the owners because they can see what he's trying to do," he added.

The 51-year-old football pundit held up the side's performance against Wigan Athletic at the weekend as an example of Rodgers' capabilities.

"The first half was a bit nervy, but as soon as we scored the first goal we could see the confidence coming out in the players.

"The second half was absolutely fantastic and I think they've got to gain their confidence from that to go on from there, and that's what Brendan is doing now," he explained.

They (supporters) can get on people's backs if things are not going well, but I think they still sing Brendan's name.

Ian Rush

With Di Matteo's shock exit from Chelsea this week, managers across the Premier League may feel they are being scrutinised by club owners, but Ian feels Rodgers has the backing of more than just the Anfield chiefs.

"He will connect with the supporters, which sometimes is very difficult to do," he commented.

"Liverpool is an incredible club where they demand success in everything but they can see that the footballers are trying to play and they want entertaining football, and they know that Brendan will get them back up there. I'm convinced of that."

Ian also had words of encouragement for Belfast man Ryan McLaughlin, who is a member of the Liverpool Academy.

The 18-year-old made his debut for the Anfield side during the summer and, just weeks later, was called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad.

"McLaughlin seems to be taking the chance," said Ian, who welcomed Brendan's trial of younger players.

"I reckon in two or three years you will find a lot more from the Academy being regularly on the first team."

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