Rodgers not worried about burnout

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Published: Sunday 15th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident fatigue will not hamper their bid for a top-four place despite an arduous season so far.

European commitments and a run to the semi-final of the Capital One Cup, in addition to their continued involvement in the FA Cup, means the Reds have played 46 matches this season.

That is already three more than in the whole of the previous campaign, which saw them fall agonisingly short of winning the Premier League.

Such a toll manifested itself in a sluggish performance last weekend in a goalless FA Cup quarter-final at home to Blackburn – their third match in six days including an early-morning return from Turkey.

However, with an eight-day break, during which the players were given some much-needed time off, Rodgers believes they will be firing on all cylinders on his return to former club Swansea on Monday.

“Our last performance against Blackburn was at the end of a real tough period of games,” said the manager.

“I’ve seen all the numbers and all the statistics on it and, physically, it was the lowest we have been for this season.

“Now we’re re-energised and refreshed mentally and physically.

“We go into a run of games now, starting with Swansea, and we feel we can go in and push on in terms of our level of performance again. We know it will be tough.

“It’s that period of the season where you taper your training. You don’t need to be as long in your training and preparation as the players have got a real good level of fitness, so it’s more explosive and more intensive, but in shorter blocks.

“The players have been brilliant this week. They’re looking really sharp, looking really confident and we just want to continue with our sequence of performances and good results.”

Liverpool are the form team of 2015, having not lost in the league since mid-December, when they were 10th and seven points off fourth, in a run which has seen them take 30 points from a possible 36.

They are now only seven points off second place but Rodgers knows with Manchester United – whom they play next weekend – to catch and Tottenham and Southampton chasing them there is still plenty of work to do.

“I think it’s going to be very tight, of course,” he said.

“We’ve rejoined the race for that in the last three months and everything counts in the games.

“We just need to ensure we continue to be aggressive in our game and give everything that we have between now and the end of the season.

“The points total is all very close and very tight but we just have to continue playing and working as hard as we have done.

“If you’re a team that wants to do well, you have to be able to have that character, resolve and mentality to win away from home.

“We’ve got great counter-attack speed when the space does open up and we’ve got technically-gifted players who can play in the spaces.

“We’re in a good moment, but we respect it’ll be a very difficult game at Swansea.”

Published: Sunday 15th March 2015 by The News Editor

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