Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rodgers Praises Hero Sterling

Brendan Rodgers hailed Raheem Sterling after his match-winning performance in Liverpool's 1-0 victory over Reading.

Sterling's first goal for Liverpool was enough to earn them a hard-fought win and their first Premier League success at Anfield this term.

Rodgers revealed they have been working hard on Sterling's finishing, with the effort paying off for the exciting teenage talent.

"It's a part of the game we've been working on," said Rodgers. "The players on the outside, the No 7 and No 11, we're trying to get them in the positions so they can make those runs.

"He's got good pace, Raheem, so once he's on the inside he can break the line of the back four.

"We've been doing a lot of work on that on the training field but all the credit goes to him because he's got to identify the moment to go in.

"It was a wonderful finish because he was going away from the goal, and he's got a quick defender tracking him.

"He's a terrific talent and he's got a good head on young shoulders."

Rodgers also praised Luis Suarez for playing through the pain barrier after suffering a dead leg right at the end of the first half.

"He got a dead leg just before half-time, he got kneed on his thigh," added Rodgers.

"People judge him from the outside, and I was probably one of those as well before I came into here, but when you actually come in and you work with him.

"He's travelled all around the world, played at altitude, got back late Thursday, trained on Friday morning and still goes out and runs and works and gives his all for the team, doesn't want to come off.

"He's an incredible character.

"He created opportunities for himself. He'll be disappointed he hasn't scored today."

Rodgers was relieved to finally get his first Premier League win at Anfield and only the side's second win of the league campaign.

"It's been a long time coming, we should have had three points here long before today," noted Rodgers. "But on the back of an international break and players travelling all over the world, I thought it was a terrific performance.

"We need to improve our finishing, which is an ongoing theme, but as long as we get three points and a clean sheet, that's the most important thing. I'm delighted for the players and the supporters.

"You don't want it to keep dragging on. What always gave me comfort was the mindset and ability of the players. They've kept working."

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