Brendan Rodgers discusses the Mamadou Sakho fallout: ‘It was never a personal thing’

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Liverpool manager has praised the ‘toughness’ of Mamadou Sakho…

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was coy when asked about his decision to leave Mamadou Sakho out of the side to face Everton earlier in September, which led to a falling out between the manager and player, reports the Echo.

Sakho walked out of the ground, and due to that, and an injury, he didn’t play another game for three months.

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Since winning a spot back in the XI though, he’s been brilliant, and in the 12 matches he’s played, we’ve conceded just nine times.

“It’s never a personal thing,” Rodgers explained, following Sakho’s Man of the Match performance against West Ham on Saturday.

“You have to be honest with players and sometimes the modern player cannot deal with that but I think your behaviour and your actions will allow players to see that what you are doing is for the benefit of the team,” he said.

“This is how we play, this is how we work and if you can’t work this way, if you can’t be competitive or function then you won’t play.

“But I won’t disregard them. I think I’ve shown that millions of times. I’m a developer and I want players to be the very best that they can be whether they’re 16 or whether they’re 32 or 33 and if they follow the philosophy and the methodology of how we work then they’ll improve.

“In terms of Sakho, maybe he was frustrated with himself at times but he’s got a really strong mentality and that’s what you need, a team that’s hard to beat with mental toughness and he’s a tough boy.”

Sakho was obviously in the wrong when he decided to leave Anfield after not being selected for the Merseyside derby, but he should be congratulated for how he’s turned his season around.

The French powerhouse has barely put a foot wrong since Christmas, and his form is one of the key reasons why our defence has improved tenfold over the past month.

He’s clearly enjoying his football – and although he won’t publicly admit it, Rodgers probably knows he was wrong to try and replace him with Dejan Lovren over the summer.

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