ESPN FC: Liverpool claim point in Wales
Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool have the strength of character to maintain a Premier League title challenge -- with Luis Suarez’s help.
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Rodgers has backed the Uruguay international, whom he calls “one of the best strikers in the world”, to play a key role in keeping his side at the top of the table.
Liverpool lead the Premier League after four matches, winning their first three before drawing 2-2 at Swansea on Monday night, and Rodgers acknowledges that staying there will be asking an awful lot of his squad in the face of competition from Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.
But with Suarez just one game away from completing a ten-match ban imposed for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League clash in April, the manager feels he has a strong enough group of players to keep Liverpool in the picture.
Suarez will be suspended from Saturday’s league meeting with Southampton at Anfield but will be eligible for the Capital One Cup trip to Manchester United the following Wednesday.
Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s early stages but it keeps the momentum going and in the next couple of weeks we have one of the best strikers in the world coming back.
“You can’t look too much at it [being top], but you’d rather be there than be at the bottom. And what it does is that the more you are up there, the more aggression -- and will and desire -- you have to stay there.
“It’s only four games in, but we’ve had four tough games and we have only lost once in the last 16-odd games. So we are getting a level of consistency, and that was the biggest thing for me.
“Coming here there was no consistency in the performance and now we are just churning out wins. And if we can’t win, we are drawing games with resilient performances like in the last 25 minutes at Swansea.
“But I believe we will get better and more fluent as the season goes on, so we are happy to be there and it gives us the fight to stay there.”