Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Liverpool ready to hit peak form, says Rodgers

31 October 2014, 10:34

Newcastle - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his players are finally starting to gel on the pitch ahead of their Premier League clash with Newcastle at St James's Park on Saturday.

The Reds have yet to convince in the early part of the campaign following the addition of several new players after selling Uruguay forward Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

Liverpool, who were runners-up to Manchester City last season, are nine points behind leaders Chelsea in seventh place in the table after nine games.

But Rodgers claims he has seen signs in recent matches that his side is taking shape and performances will improve as a result.

"The players that are available are working very, very hard and we're still learning about each other," he said.

"I think that sometimes goes amiss -- you get new players in and with not as much preparation time, you're learning about them in games.

"I can see each day the relationship growing within the players and the connection.

"That's what we've been trying to do and gradually as each day goes by, I sense and feel we are getting better.

"Rickie Lambert, who hasn't had many opportunities, his goals will come. He's working tirelessly every day and had some nice touches against Swansea the other night.

"Young Lazar Markovic playing on the left hasn't featured so much, but we brought him in for the longer term. He'll get games in this period because we've got confidence he'll be a big player for us.

"Those players will get a chance and hopefully they can take that chance."- Controversial Balotelli -

Rodgers also claims he does not have to shield Mario Balotelli from players in opposition teams who try to wind him up during games.

The Italy striker, who is set to start against Newcastle, had a confrontation with Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey during their League Cup clash in the week.

"I don't have to protect Mario," Rodgers said. "He's fine. There's no concern."

Liverpool will be without striker Daniel Sturridge who is still recovering from a calf problem that is also likely to force him to miss their trip to Real Madrid in the Champions League and next weekend's clash with Chelsea at Anfield.

Defenders Jose Enrique (knee), Mamadou Sakho (hip) and Jon Flanagan (knee) are all absent along with midfield playmaker Suso (groin).

Meanwhile, Newcastle approach the game with their confidence restored after three successive victories that have tempered the criticism of their manager Alan Pardew.

Pardew looked certain to be dismissed only a month ago, but an impressive sequence of results in October have made his position secure, at least for the time being -- although the 53-year-old seems reluctant to take credit for the transformation.

"I don't think it's that important, if I'm honest," he said.

"What is important is that we're winning games again and that's what the fans want to see.

"I think we have a group that could excite them this year. There is a lot of pace in the squad and it's about getting it on the pitch and using it in the right manner, which we are doing at the moment.

"It's a nice transitional period for us. We have had a couple of very good teams here in my time, but last year it kind of fell away for us and we are trying to build a new side.

"It takes time to bed in, but we are starting to find our feet."

Pardew will give a fitness test to striker Papiss Cisse (knee)and midfielder Cheick Tiote (shin), while defender Davide Santon (knee) and midfielder Siem de Jong (thigh) are still some way short of a return.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Kenyans demand action after femal...

This comes a few days after a female passenger was drugged and then robbed in a matatu plying the Kenyatta – Kencom route. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Natural aphrodisiacs to boost lib...

It is advisable to take them before sex in order to achieve maximum benefit. Read more...

Submitted by
Man defiles girlfriend’s daughter

The two-year-old girl sustained serious injuries due to the forceful penetration. Read more...

Submitted by
Bernard Lugagah
How your birth order affects your...

Mismatched birth orders may be the simple reason you and your significant other don’t seem to get along.  Read more...

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
Raila has lost his remaining bull...

He added that Jubilee and Cord are like day and night. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Changamwe OCPD collapses, dies in...

He had complained of some pain in his body around 11am. Read more...