Brendan Rodgers’ pre-Norwich Press Conference: Sturridge update and title determination

Brendan Rodgers addressed a room of journalists at his pre-match press conference at Melwood on Thursday afternoon, look ahead to Sunday’s Premier League clash between Liverpool and Norwich City.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 6, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers during the Premiership match against West Ham United at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Brendan Rodgers during the Premier League match against West Ham United at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As calm as ever, Rodgers paid credit to both his players and Norwich. The game kicks off at 12noon on Sunday, 20th April.

On Daniel Sturridge‘s injury

May struggle for the weekend, not too serious though, may be a risk for the weekend. We’ll assess over next couple days.

He does recover very quickly [cites start of season]. It’s certainly not as serious as sometimes a hamstring injury can be.

On Liverpool’s race for the title

It doesn’t fall into place, you’ve got to make it happen [the title]. Last night was a warning sign for everyone that at this point of the season, nothing is guaranteed.

Crystal Palace had an excellent result last night [who Liverpool play in May].

Our rivals my have dropped points but it’s irrelevant, you’ve got to win your own games.

On Steven Gerrard

He really is a selfless player. He’s a wonderful ambassador for this club. His message for the team is the one I’ve had all season.

On Sunday’s opponents at Carrow Road

I felt for Chris Hughton. It’s a difficult job. The objective for Norwich is stay in the league and he was well on his way to doing that.

They’ve changed the shape of the team, they played a diamond [midfield] last week. They’ll see it as a game they really have to win.

We won’t underestimate them. We know they are a threat.

On the team’s form this season and title run-in pressure

It’s very straight forward, I’ve got an incredible bunch of players here who work tirelessly every day. They know what they’ve got to do.

We can use the stress as an opportunity. I learnt that more than ever this week with the Memorial [for Hillsborough]. Using the stress to fight.

I think for us, it wont be the case of the pressure, we may get a little bad luck or a genuine honest mistake.

We’ve been asked questions these past few months — “Can we deal with the pressure” — and the players have been magnificent in their response.

The finish line is still a wee bit out, we just need to focus, show the character that we have. As a manager it’s my job, to manage expectation, we never get carried away. The players are all excited.

For the first 40 minutes [against Manchester City] we were unplayable. We showed in other parts of the game our resilience and focus.

We never look too far ahead and that’s key to managing that expectation. We have to do the job against Norwich.

On beating Man City at Anfield last weekend

We’ve had other games where we’ve had pressure. We had to stand up and be counted. We came back, that’s what great teams do. We showed that resilience and ultimately the quality that we have.

When you have the biggest wage bill in sport you have to perform well at some stage.

Our response was sensational. It was a brilliant team game and win.

On upsets in the Premier League

Every single game at this level is a test, whether you’re playing the team at the top or the bottom. Last night maybe epitomised why.

Crystal Palace defended really well last night and had a threat on the counter attack. It’s the nature of this league. Norwich will be.

They’ll [Norwich] want to show they can win in front of their supporters.

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