Liverpool news

Rodgers excited about Swansea fixture

September 27, 2012
By Mike Whalley

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has declared that a Capital One Cup fourth-round reunion with Swansea will be "a special occasion".

Brendan Rodgers
PA PhotosBrendan Rodgers hopes a sports psychiatrist can improve the 'mental toughness' of his players

Rodgers will face his former club at Anfield next month after two Nuri Sahin goals secured a 2-1 third-round victory at West Brom on Wednesday night.

Rodgers spent two years in charge at Swansea, guiding them into the Premier League in 2011, before leaving to take the Liverpool job in June.

"The Swansea game will be a special occasion, very much so," Rodgers said. "It is a wonderful club, a brilliant club, and I was in no rush to leave there.

"I could only leave there to go to another special club. It will be a great night. I think in the competition you prefer home games so to play Swansea at Anfield, in front of two wonderful sets of supporters, it will be a great night."

Rodgers has indicated that he will continue to field fringe and youth players in the League Cup this season, but he is still hopeful that the holders, who won the trophy under Kenny Dalglish last season, can mount a strong defence.

He added: "I said to the players afterwards that the cup is stored at Anfield and I don't want to give it up too easy. I want us to fight even though it is difficult because of our lack of depth in the group.

"It is a competition we want to do well in. Of course, we will be really stretched with the Europa League, Premier League between now and January, but the nature of this club is we want to win every game and, if we get a few young players out of it, then it will really help us moving forward."

One player who was given a chance to impress against West Brom was Jerome Sinclair.

Sinclair became the club's youngest-ever player, aged 16 years and six days, when he appeared as a substitute. The previous record was held by left-back Jack Robinson, who was 244 days older when he made his Liverpool debut against Hull in the Premier League in May 2010.

Sinclair received a round of applause from his team-mates after the game for making club history, and later tweeted: "So happy right now! Words can't describe!"

Rodgers is hopeful that the youngster can become a regular part of the first-team picture at Anfield.

"I said to him 'congratulations' and he got a round of applause in the changing room, but now his hard work begins," he said. "It is no good being the youngest player and then drifting out of it.

"He's a good kid, is really focused, has good concentration and wants to learn. That can take you a long way."