Premier League

October 20, 2012



1 - 0


Premier League

14:00 +00:00, October 20, 2012

Anfield, England

Rodgers searching for consistency

Team Stat Comparison

Liverpool Reading
Matches Played 38 38
Table Position 7 19
Points 61 28
Goal Difference 28 -30
Goals for * 1.7 1.1
Goals against * 0.8 2.1
Last 5 W-W-D-W-D L-L-W-D-L
Last 5 home W-D-D-D-W L-D-D-L-L
Last 5 away W-W-D-W-L L-W-L-L-L
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Liverpool | Reading

Competition Stats

Liverpool Reading
Goals Luis Suárez 23 Adam Le Fondre 12
Assists Steven Gerrard 9
Yellows Luis Suárez 10 Jobi McAnuff 5
Reds Daniel Agger 1 Pavel Pogrebnyak 1
Squads: Liverpool | Reading

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he expects his side to "fly'' once they have overcome the hurdle of securing their first home win of the season.

The Reds have won just two league matches at Anfield in 2012, the last coming against Chelsea in May, ahead of Saturday's home clash against Reading.

So far this season they have taken two points on home soil from games against Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Stoke, which has contributed to a disappointing points tally of just six.

And Rodgers is grateful fans have not turned their frustrations on the team.

"When you look at the majority of our home games our performance level has been good and we've been unfortunate not to pick up a result,'' said the Northern Irishman. "Our biggest focus now is just to get some consistency in our results.

"The reality in 2012 is we have won two league games at Anfield and, on top of that, it is over a year since there has been back-to-back Premier League (home) wins (September 24 against Wolves was the exact date).

"Thankfully within the ground the supporters are fantastic, when you think of that record. If you came to Anfield and you see how supportive the fans are it is absolutely phenomenal really.

"The big drive and our only focus is looking to get consistency in our results and then we can move forward. It is up to us, there is only the group of players and ourselves who can change that.

"We have to focus on what we can control, go into the game with a clear, defined plan and if it's not working then be flexible in terms of looking to put that right.

"Once we get that result then hopefully we can fly from there. We really want to make our home ground a fortress.''

Rodgers' former club Reading - a side against whom Liverpool have won just one of their last four meetings - are the visitors on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Jose Reina faces a late fitness test on a minor hamstring problem sustained on international duty with Spain.

Striker Fabio Borini has been ruled out for up to three months with a fractured foot but defenders Jose Enrique and Jon Flanagan returned to training this week. Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is available again after a three-match suspension.

Rodgers looks back on his time with the Royals fondly, even taking into account the six months from the summer of 2009 when he won just six of 23 games and departed before the year ended.

"Reading are an excellent club. I first went to them when I was 13 and they played a big part of my life,'' he added.

"I was fortunate to get the managerial job but it did not quite work out how I would have wished. But I learned from the experience and ultimately that will pave the way for me.''

Reading forward Noel Hunt is a doubt due to a heel problem but midfielder Mikele Leigertwood has been passed fit after recovering from a dead leg.

Royals boss Brian McDermott has no further injury concerns as his club seek their first Premier League win of the season.

Jobi McAnuff has warned his Reading team-mates to be wary of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, but fears divers are condemned too quickly.

Suarez is viewed as the worst culprit of simulation in the Premier League and was branded an "embarrassment'' by Stoke boss Tony Pulis earlier this month.

While the Uruguay striker has received strong support from Reds manager Rodgers, he has faced heavy criticism from outside Anfield.

McAnuff knows Suarez must be watched closely at Anfield, but insists there are grey areas when a player goes down.

"With any player, especially in the box, you have to be careful, probably more so with him,'' the club captain said.

"In the last game (Liverpool v Stoke) he was literally nowhere near him.

"There's been some instances with Suarez that have been penalties which he hasn't got and of course on the other hand there's the instances that were dives.

"But sometimes it's not a penalty nor a dive - there is an in between.

"You can be running at such pace that it doesn't take a lot to knock you off your feet or unbalance you.

"The referee might not deem it enough to be a foul, which is fine, but there's a massive argument now that if it's not a penalty, then it's a dive, when there is in fact an in-between.

"We have to be a little bit careful of creating a witch hunt because we have to be fair and judge every decision individually.''