Brendan Rodgers’ Pre Chelsea Press Conference: On Madrid Team Selection, Sturridge Injury Latest

Brendan Rogers’ press conference ahead of Saturday’s visit of Chelsea to Anfield saw him answer questions focussing on his team selection in Madrid.


Here are the quotes from the boss on Madrid, Sturridge, Origi, Roy Hodgson and Chelsea.

On team selection against Madrid:

“I put out the best team on Tuesday that could get a result. My players were magnificent, I think the criticism is a disservice to them.

“We had a game plan against the best team in the world right now, to stay in the game, control. We then opened up the game with the subs.

“The idea was to be in the game still after 65 minutes, which we did, then use Steven’s passing ability, Raheem’s pace and Coutinho’s creativity.

“I was very proud of the players and the supporters — over 4,000 of them there giving the team a great backing. The criticism is unfair.

“To call Kolo Toure, Lucas Leiva or Adam Lallana a “reserve”? Those players deserve more praise than that.

“I know in my heart that I make decisions in the best interest of Liverpool FC. The performance spoke louder than any words I can say.

“What’s befitting of this club is keeping it at the top of where it should be and ensure we’re competing in the Champions League.

“What’s hard for journalists is you don’t know the full extent of who could play. Gerrard had a scan the day before.

“Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel were outstanding. Kolo is a leader on and off the pitch, he knows the deal with his game time here.”

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, November 4, 2014: Liverpool's Kolo Toure in action against Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Group B match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Daniel Sturridge‘s injury:

Daniel Sturridge was out on the field with the rehab team today, but he’s still a way off returning.”

On Divock Origi (who is playing for Lille at Everton on Thursday night):

“We’re in regular contact with him. He’s a big talent, for someone so young, we’re looking at aspects of his game for him to improve in.”

On Chelsea:

“This weekend’s game against Chelsea is obviously a big game. We’ll have learnt from last season’s defeat to them, it’ll be tough though. They’re the best team in the league at the moment, that’s why they are top of the league.

“When we play at Anfield, no matter the opponent, we have every confidence we can go on and get a result.

“This game offers us a great chance at home to get a result and can kick-start the season for us.”

On Gerrard’s mistake vs Chelsea last season:

“I think Gerrard recovering mentally shows the magnificent response from him. There was no blame, just unfortunate.

“He was instrumental to our run last year and how well we played. He’s a big character and bounced back well from that.

“This isn’t a computer game. We’re dealing with the reality of lots of games in a short space of time. We need to make changes.”

On having not returned a voicemail from Roy Hodgson:

“Mine and Roy Hodgson’s relationship is fine. I got Roy’s voicemail, but there was no need to get back straight away. No problem.

Saturday’s match is a 12.45pm (UK) kick off.