• Europa League

Rodgers: No regrets at leaving big names behind

ESPN staff
November 8, 2012
Brendan Rodgers said his young side held their own against Anzhi Makhachkala © PA Photos

Brendan Rodgers defended his selection policy after seeing an inexperienced Liverpool side beaten 1-0 by Anzhi Makhachkala in their Europa League clash in Moscow.

With a Premier League clash against Chelsea looming on Sunday, Rodgers chose to leave key names Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez at home, naming a young side, including a debut for Conor Coady.

The Reds were beaten by Lacina Traore's goal in first-half stoppage time, but Rodgers believes his young side more than held their own against strong opposition.

"I think that is a little disrespectful to the players who are here," Rodgers said in response to suggestions he should have named more senior players in his squad. "They have been magnificent and I thought they did really well and we just got punished for a mistake.

"That led to us losing the game but I don't think it was anything to do with Suarez, Gerrard, Joe Allen, Martin Skrtel or Daniel Agger not being here. It was just one of those things. We will take it as a team, we are disappointed but there are so many positives.

"We are disappointed with the result. I thought the players put everything into the game. We had chances and there is real disappointment in the changing room and I felt for the players. We were up against a good side with top players and we held our own.

"Some of the young players were terrific and we are disappointed not to have got something from it. I thought the performance level was good on a difficult pitch but I thought the players played the system tactically very well. We just find ourselves unfortunate not to get something from a very difficult place."

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