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Liverpool v Newcastle United: Cup win a platform, says Rodgers

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Apr 2015

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hopes Wednesday’s FA Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers can provide a platform for his side’s Premier League season run-in ahead of Monday’s clash with Newcastle United at Anfield.

The Merseyside outfit’s attempt to secure UEFA Champions League qualification has faded as a result of back-to-back defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal.

A 1-0 replay victory at Ewood Park sealed Liverpool’s place in the FA Cup semi-finals and Rodgers is keen to build on that morale-boosting win.

“The performance and the result the other night puts us back on track again,” he said. “Hopefully from that result we can build the momentum through until end of season.

“Defensively as a collective we were very good. We’d gone six games away from home and not conceded a goal. We wanted to return to that mentality in that game. We feel we can create enough opportunities.

“I thought Dejan Lovren was outstanding on the evening, Glen Johnson came in and did a great job having not played for a little bit.

“Simon (Mignolet) made a couple of great saves when he had to and as a team we pressed the ball really and nullified most of their threats. It was important for us to defend well.

“It was an excellent performance and a good result in a tough tie. We’ll just take each game at a time now and really focus on the Newcastle game.”

Newcastle have been urged by head coach John Carver to move on from the disappointment of a 1-0 derby defeat to Sunderland last weekend as they bid to halt a run of four consecutive losses.

Rodgers believes the Tyneside club have had their fair share of bad luck this season and that Carver is the right man to turn things around.

“They’re probably a little bit unfortunate in that they have a number of players out injured”, he added. “They’ve got arguably the most passionate man involved in John Carver in terms of Newcastle United. It runs right through him.

“We expect it to be a tough game, they always are against Newcastle. For us, being at home for the first time in a few weeks, we’ll look to keep our performance levels up and get the win.”

Liverpool, who are still without suspended pair Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel, could welcome back Jordon Ibe (knee) and Mario Balotelli (illness), though Adam Lallana (groin) is unlikely to be ready.

Newcastle, meanwhile, count Papiss Cisse (suspended), Fabricio Coloccini (suspended), Siem de Jong (lung) and Steven Taylor (Achilles) among their lengthy list of absentees.

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