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Rodgers said that there are no problems in the Reds’ dressing room
By Andrew Scott Wednesday, 17 December 2014 02:48
Brendan Rodger, Liverpool manager, said that there aren’t any problems in the Reds’ dressing room, and that he will try to get Mario Balotelli to perform at his top level, something that pay per head bookmaking companies would really like to see.
Paul Ince, former midfielder for Liverpool, said that the Italian striker’s “disruptive influence” broke Liverpool’s team spirit, and would like to see Rodgers sell the player.
Balotelli had a bad start with the Reds, as he was only able to score twice. He left the bench when Liverpool lost to Manchester United after being out of the game for over a month due an injury to the groin, and this may not let the player feature in the quarter-final meeting of the Capital One Cup taking place on Wednesday at Bournemouth.
But the manager was quick to dismiss what was claimed by Ince: “There are lots of opinions about Liverpool and Paul is someone who I respect and was a wonderful player and has managed himself, so he knows the pressures of management.
“Mario is here as a Liverpool player and as the coach and manager, I need to work to maximise what I can get out of the player, but that is the same with every single player.
“While he is here at the club, that is all I will concentrate on. I hear one or two bits and pieces about unrest – it is totally untrue of course. We are not happy we are not winning games. These are competitive players who nearly won the league last year, so they won’t be happy with losing.
“The actual spirit in the group is very strong and that is one of the reasons why when we get that confidence back, we will go into the second half of the season and be much better.
“Our dressing room is very strong. We are very fortunate we have a captain (Steven Gerrard) who is a strong leader and that has been something which has been very important in my time here.”
Pay per head bookmaking companies could see that so far, the Reds had a horrendous season. They’re no longer in the Champions League, and in the Premier League the team is sitting in 11th place, trailing leaders Chelsea by 18 points.
The cup-tie getting underway against Bournemouth on Wednesday at Dean Court will now be even more important, and Rodgers is confident that the Reds will prevail.
“We wanted to have a right go at all of the cup competitions this year and the game on Wednesday will be an opportunity for us to get into the semi-final,” he added.
“It would obviously give us confidence to get through. We’re in competitions to win trophies, so if we can get the victory against Bournemouth and get through, the aim for us would be to hopefully go on and win the competition.
“This is the first cup competition that you can win, so it was always a priority for me.”