Judge Liverpool at end of season says Rodgers


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the time to judge his side will not come until the last two months of the season.

After more lows than highs already in the first five months of the campaign the team’s chances of having a successful season have all-but been written off.

Inconsistency has dogged them throughout, highlighted perfectly by their last four matches which saw them lose at home to Aston Villa – who have since gone into freefall – thrash Fulham, lose woefully at Stoke and cruise to victory at bottom club QPR.

Rodgers, however, is confident there is time yet to improve things: “This is a period of time where you have to keep your head down and work hard and give the players every chance to perform,” he says.

“The second half of the season, and in particular the last 10 games, I believe you are working to because that is the business end when things are decided.

“When you arrive at that period you want to get yourself in a good position to challenge, whether that is in the league or cup competitions.

“We can still achieve our objectives this season so when you can do that going into the second part of the season it gives you real hope.”

Rodgers is set to return to the dugout tonight at home to Sunderland having missed Sunday’s win at Loftus Road with illness which also affected head of performance Glen Driscoll and back-up goalkeeper Brad Jones.

Potential spread

There has been a slight element of quarantine at the club’s Melwood training ground to prevent the infection spreading to other members of the squad and the club are confident their actions have been successful.

With the transfer window now open, Liverpool have been waiting to finalise a deal for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge but it will not officially be completed before the visit of Sunderland.

Blackpool winger Tom Ince has also been linked with a return to the club he left in the summer of 2011 but those negotiations are proving more difficult.

Sunderland will be without central defender John O’Shea after he damaged a hamstring against Tottenham Hotspur, but will be able to call upon full back Danny Rose, who was ineligible to play against his parent club at the weekend.