Newcastle no walkover…
Liverpool may have a FA Cup semi-final at Wembley emerging on the horizon, but boss Brendan Rodgers has warned his players to focus on getting their Premier League campaign back on track, starting with Monday’s fixture against Newcastle.
Despite the victory over Blackburn, the Reds have lost their last two in the league, and will now struggle to make it back into the top four.
On paper however, they have a good chance of beginning the final part of the season well – Newcastle have won just two of their games this year, and have lost their last four. While they are nine points clear of the bottom three, recent wins for most of the relegation candidates – including bitter rivals Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby – have left the Magpies slightly looking over their shoulder with seven games to go.
The Echo report that Rodgers believes Newcastle’s current position in the table is something of a falsity, after losing several squad members throughout the year.
“They’re probably a little bit unfortunate in that a number of players are injured,” he explained.
However, our Northern Irish boss has warned us that Newcastle’s manager will not have any problem getting motivated for Monday’s clash, as his future is up in the air, something the Reds will have to be aware of.
“They’ve got arguably the most passionate man involved in John in terms of Newcastle United – it runs right through him. He’s also a very, very good coach; an excellent coach who looks like he wants to step into management and will do everything he possibly can to get the role there,” Rodgers continued.
“He knows the club inside-out, has been there a long time and he will want to get back on track again having been disappointed in their last performance and result.
“We expect it to be a tough game, they always are against Newcastle,” he added.