Monday, March 27, 2017

Liverpool v Norwich City: Rodgers looking for goal-den touch

SoccerNews in English Premier League 18 Sep 2015

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Brendan Rodgers is hopeful Liverpool can get back on the goal trail when Norwich City visit Anfield on Sunday.

Rodgers’ team are looking to recover from back-to-back Premier League losses against West Ham United and Manchester United, while they were held to a 1-1 Europa League draw at Bordeaux on Thursday.

In their five domestic outings this term, Liverpool have only found the net on three occasions.

England striker Daniel Sturridge is back in contention for his first action of the season following hip surgery, while Adam Lallana marked his return to action with a superb goal in France to give Rodgers some cause for optimism.

“It’s just about staying calm as a manager – never getting too carried away if you win or too carried away when you lose,” he said.

“For me it’s about reinforcing the process of how we can arrive in positions to score goals.

“We will get there like we did before. It was an issue when I first came in, scoring goals, so there is a process to it.

“The players coming back will enhance that quality in the team and give us a greater opportunity to score goals.

“Whether we go with a front two, a front three, two up, one behind – whatever the system is we know that we need to create some more goals.”

Rodgers’ stock with the Anfield faithful has dwindled since he led Liverpool to the verge of a Premier League title triumph in 2013-14, with those heroics unmatched over the subsequent year.

The former Swansea City manager believes calmness is once again the key to dealing with any speculation over his position.

“That’s the nature of management,” he said. “I think it’s very important that you remain calm.

“For me, I always focus on what I can control. All I can do is control the team, how we operate and try to maximise what I can get from the players that are available. That’s something I’ve always done.”

Opposite number Alex Neil believes the level of scrutiny on Rodgers is unfair, but is optimistic that his City team can add to Liverpool’s woes.

“I think it’s been tough for them,” he said. “They’ve had a hard run of fixtures from the start, and when you’re in charge of one of the big clubs and you lose a couple of games, it’s a crisis. I think it’s a bit unfair at times.

“When you look at the other sides who have gone there and done relatively well – Bournemouth got beaten 1-0 and gave a good account of themselves and we were better than Bournemouth in our game. 

“Liverpool are a good side though, they’re well managed and we’re going to have to make sure we put in a good performance.” 

Striker Gary Hooper (ankle) and midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu (broken metatarsal) remain sidelined for Norwich, while Liverpool will assess Kolo Toure.

The experienced defender was substituted following a heavy collision with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in Bordeaux. Mamadou Sakho is pushing for a start at centre-back having impressed in midweek.

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