Brendan Rodgers claims Liverpool are getting stronger, and are ready to step up their top four challenge…
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed his team’s top four chances, claiming that his side are getting stronger after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sunderland.
Lazar Markovic scored the only goal of the game, while the young Serbian winger also hit the post, and was unlucky not to win an early penalty after being taken down inside the area.
Rodgers said: “We are a team who can come on strong in the second half of the season. There is still a way to go, but the exciting thing is that in my two years here we have always been better in the second half.
“That’s the business end. That is where we want to be. We still have Sturridge, Lallana, Johnson, all these guys to come back into the squad. It’s gone the way I hoped it would and hopefully we can continue with this momentum.”
That includes Sterling, who returns today from his controversial mid-season holiday. Rodgers explained: “I think it will give him that freshness he needs. It is not just the physical fitness but the mental fitness.
“We have put so much on him since he has come into the team as a 17-year-old. He has not had a break and has progressed through to being a full international player.
“After the World Cup I felt he needed a break, but we had the Champions League and a lot of games. We had a plan that this was going to be the best time, after Christmas. Leicester and Sunderland were the two games I picked for him not to be involved.
“He will come back now and mentally it will freshen him up. It is like you, anyone going for a holiday. You get one day off and you think it’s great and footballers are no different. It is a great life, a wonderful job, but it is mental fitness as well.”