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Brendan Rodgers’ pre-West Ham Press Conference: Football’s “experts” and cohesion

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Brendan Rodgers addressed a room of journalists on Thursday afternoon ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League clash against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday.

The Reds boss gave some reassuring comments regarding the team’s recent form and the expectations upon new players.

On bringing in further restrictions on non-EU players

“Every effort should be made for getting British players playing. But imposing restrictions may inflate transfer fees.”

On finding Liverpool’s right system

“There’s lots of “experts” in the game now, in the papers, on the telly, I’m always getting told what I should do!

“We’ll always look for different ways to win games. There’s no magic formula, just constant work on the training field.

“A year ago I was being asked, ‘Are we going to score goals?’ and of course we ended up with 101 goals last season.

“It’s naturally going to take time for the new players to play cohesively. I’ve been really pleased with how they’re settling though.”

On West Ham

West Ham played very well against Hull. They showed great resilience. Sam Allardyce’s teams are always well set up. It’ll be a test.

“I thought Stewart Downing was the best player on the pitch the other night. A former player of ours, of course.

“We know West Ham will be a threat, but we’ll look to take our game there, work hard and get the three points.

“We will attack and defender as a team, and win and lose as a team. We had to invest in the summer because we were so light.

“Our form last year was incredible, but we weren’t playing like that this time last year. It’ll take time to settle.”

On Liverpool’s form

“Last week against Aston Villa we weren’t to our level in the final third. Villa defended well and got a result, but we moved on.

“With days to reflect, beating Ludogorets was a very good result. Maybe people thought we’d win more comfortably.

Southampton’s good form has shown how well we did to beat them last month. We were outstanding against Tottenham.

“The international break was poor as we lost some of our players and that upset our rhythm. We’ll continue to work hard.

“The great support on Tuesday increases the intensity. We have to play until the final whistle and we proved that the other night.

“We changed the system three times against Ludogorets to get the result. Our two young full-backs got the assists, great mentality.”

On new full backs Javier Manquilo and Alberto Moreno

“Javier Manquillo is like a rash, he’s all over attackers. He’s hard to beat and gets forward well. He wants to create.

“Everyone can see Alberto Moreno’s ambition to get forward. Both full-backs are enjoying their football, settling really well.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 13, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho is a brilliant, fantastic player. I wanted to rest him against Villa, but we had to play him. He’s a big talent.

“Coutinho always gives his best. He wants to do well and I have absolutely no doubts about him.”

On Mario Balotelli

“I’m very pleased for Mario Balotelli. He was very good, good pressing, worked well and took his goal fantastically well.”

West Ham v Liverpool gets underway at 5.30pm on Saturday, 20th September and is live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK.

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