Rodgers’ pre-Palace Press Conference: Gerrard’s mind, Sturridge fitness, Fans’ pride

Brendan Rodgers addressed a room of journalists at Melwood on Friday afternoon to preview Monday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 20, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers wearing a Hillsborough armband before the Premiership match against Norwich City at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Brendan Rodgers wearing a Hillsborough armband before the Premier League match against Norwich City at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On last week’s defeat to Chelsea

“I congratulated Jose [Mourinho]. He’s a friend of mine and he got a good victory last weekend. I’ve watched it twice, they played well.

“We’ve been analysing the game this week — I’ve watched it twice more. My job is to find the solution in those kind of games. We’ve shown we can score goals and win in many ways.

“Against Chelsea, the speed of our game was good but we need to find new solutions in the final third. That’s my job as a coach.

“The crime’s not losing the game, it’s looking and finding the solutions the next time.

“We ran out of patience against Chelsea, so that’s something we will look to improve on. I learn quickly, my players are great learners.

“We’ve a long way to go and last week’s game will help us move forward and learn.

“The second goal against Chelsea was my fault – I put two centre-halves forward, but I wanted to get something from the game.”

On Everton‘s game against Man City (Saturday) and the significance to Liverpool

“I believe there is another twist in this title race. This week has put everything in perspective, but we’re two points clear.

“Make no mistake, Everton are a great club and done really well this year. They’re fighting for a Champions League position.

“Yes, I probably will be watching EvertonMan City. I’m not one of these who says I’ll be on a golf course — I love football!

Man City have found going to Everton tough in the last few years. But for us, the focus is on ourselves. We can’t rely on anyone. Our job is to get three points.

“It may not make good TV for you [looking at awkward journalist], but our focus is on Liverpool, not Everton, not Man City.”

On Luis Suarez – PFA Player of the Year – and the summer transfer window

“Congratulations Luis Suarez – the PFA award was really special to him. He’s been outstanding for Liverpool. Very well deserved.

“We know we have to strengthen our squad now. We want to be challenging in every competition. We need stronger depth.

“To know Luis is happy is important. We have happy players, content with being here.”

On Steven Gerrard after his slip against Chelsea

Steven Gerrard picked himself up straight away, he’s very experienced. He’s a really good man, his mistake was overanalysed.”

On Monday’s opponents, Crystal Palace

“Tony Pulis has done an outstanding job at Palace. It’s difficult to take over a team new to the Premier League. He’s galvanised them.

“Pulis has ingrained a real spirit amongst his players. It’s been a great effort by Palace.

“Every team in this league poses a tough test, home or away. Palace are no different. They’ll defend deep, I’ve been studying them.

“It’ll be a difficult game at Palace. But that’s our job – to find a way to make the breakthrough and get the three points.

“Palace enjoy playing against big opponents, so for us it’s respecting them but bringing our qualities to the table.”

On Daniel Sturridge‘s availability

“We’ll see over the next 48 hours about Sturridge’s fitness. He’s worked really hard, but was a bit unfit against Chelsea.”

On sticking to his football philosophies

“I take great pride when I’ve met Liverpool fans this week who say they’re finding pride in their club again. That is very satisfying.

“The methods we’ve implemented over a period of time since I came here have worked. Now we continue improving and growing.

“Winning in the way that we want is important, so we’ll continue working in the way we want.”

Crystal Palace v Liverpool gets underway at 8pm on Monday, 5th May 2014. The match is live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK.

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