Brendan Rodgers and Kolo Toure have been talking about a variety of different subjects in their Adelaide press-conference today, fielding questions about Aussie Rules and koalas, as well as transfers and the captaincy.
Unsurprisingly, there was no concrete word on any coming and goings, despite the Christian Benteke deal seemingly being close to completion (via BBC Sport). Rodgers was also asked about a rumour involving Bayer Leverkusen’s Heung Min Son, but answered in his usual diplomatic fashion.
“I never talk about transfers or potential targets. Only my own players,” he said, in quotes taken by the Liverpool Echo. And when pressed on Benteke, he added: “Good try but there’s nothing to say on that.”
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The Northern Irishman also praised the impact Jordan Henderson has had as captain thus far, telling the press that he’s taken to the role well.
“It’s been a fresh start for the group,” he said. “He [Gerrard] was an iconic figure for so long, and Jordan had to learn some of the traits from Steven. But on top of that, add his own qualities – the players have accepted that and I can see how he’s grown in stature. You give some players the captaincy and they fold but he’s dealt with it.”
However, there has been no decision yet on who will succeed Henderson as vice-captaincy. Rodgers added: “No decision yet on the vice-captaincy. There are a lot of contenders and this guy (Kolo Toure) is one of them.”
Asked about our priorities for the rest of the tour and the season ahead, he said: “Our priorities are getting back into the top four and we want a trophy.
“It’s the balance. We need to improve offensively and defensively and players who will contribute to both. We were down on goals last season. We’ve needed to address that. There is much greater competition for places now.”
Tour provided some light relief to the event, as he answered questions on the weather and his fear of animals: “I was in my room and it was freezing,” he said of the Adelaide winter. “But we are used to the cold in Liverpool.”
“I’ve never been much of an animal person. I’ve had a dog for seven years but I’ve always managed to avoid touching it,” he added to raucous laughter when quizzed on his rejecting of koala.
Both men also praised the atmosphere in the city, after attending an Aussie Rules game on Saturday.
“It was certainly different. You learn from all sports. We thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Rodgers.
“It’s amazing the reception we get here. It’s a great feeling,” Toure added. “Every time I feel my song I feel so proud and want to give more.”