Former boss: We can’t afford a slip-up

Former Liverpool boss Roy Evans believes The Reds will get their title monkey off their back if they avoid any slip-ups.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 6, 1996: Liverpool's manager Roy Evans against Coventry City during the Premiership match at Highfield Road. Coventry won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds are four games away from winning their first-ever Premier League crown thanks to a 3-2 victory over rivals Manchester City last weekend.

Liverpool make the trip to relegation-threatened Norwich City on Easter Sunday, looking to cement their two-point lead over second-placed Chelsea.

Evans led the Reds close to title glory during his reign in the mid-1990s, and the former Liverpool boss warned Brendan Rodgers’s that they must take their chances.

“I have regrets. You look back and think: ‘What if?’ Could we have done better? Could I have done better? Did I make mistakes? Probably overall you do,” Evans is quoted as saying by the Guardian.

“The lesson is you have to take your chance because you don’t know when you will get another one.

“If Liverpool win it this year, it takes that monkey off their back. But it is going to be tough. Four more games and four tough games. The nice thing is they have got the belief they can win it.”

He added: “I think they will do it but there’s no room for any slip-ups.”

There have been lots of comparisons between the team that the understated bootroom legend led between 1995 and 1997, a side that came very close to ending an already long wait for their first Premier League crown, but it is a comparison he does not buy into.

He said: “There are comparisons between this team and my team because of where we were, but we fell at a couple of hurdles. The big games sometimes weren’t the problem. I remember twice we came unstuck against Coventry.

“If you don’t take the same attitude into every game you can slip up. The next game is huge now. Not Chelsea. Norwich are a strange team. Sometimes you can beat them 5-0 or 6-0 and sometimes they can be a little bit of nemesis. But if we keep the same attitude and start the games well, then we would hope to win.”

Evans could count on another potent duo in those days, Robbie Fowler was at the peak of his striking prowess and the precocious talent of Stan Collymore produced some memorable moments too, similarly they were not a side famed for their defending, and it is a question the former Liverpool boss asks himself on many occasions, could things have been different? The opportunity that has presented itself is one that has left one half of the City desperate to see the glory days return:

“If Liverpool win it this year, it takes that monkey off their back. But it is going to be tough, four more games and four tough games, no matter who you are playing. The nice thing is they have got the belief they can win it. We we’re aiming for the Champions League, but that has all changed now and it’s gone into a different mode. That is down to Brendan. He has man-managed the situation really well.”

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