• Premier League

AVB: Rodgers the man to return Liverpool to the top

ESPN staff
November 27, 2012

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Liverpool can return to top four contention under Brendan Rodgers.

Villas-Boas has known Rodgers for a number of years, after the two men took an FA coaching course together when they were just starting out in the game. They then worked together at Chelsea, as members of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff.

Their respective career paths have since diverged and come together once again - with the two men set to occupy opposite dugouts as Spurs host the Merseyside club at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

The north London club currently hold a four-point advantage over Liverpool as both sides aim to chase down Chelsea in fourth, and Villas-Boas has no doubts Rodgers can turn Liverpool back into a side competing strongly for Champions League football.

"At the moment they [Liverpool] are on a good run in terms of form," Villas-Boas said. "They would want ideally to turn the draws into wins. In a couple of games there were very close to winning but they didn't get the result that they wanted.

"They are in an awkward position in the league at the moment but the distance between the teams [in the middle of the table] is not a lot so it can change dramatically for them and they can join the top ten very soon.

"The power of the club is extremely high and the quality of the players and I think eventually they will join the battle for the top spots."

The Portuguese believes the Northern Irishman has a successful career ahead of him.

"The first time I came across Brendan was at an FA coaching course when we were trying to get our degrees and qualifications," Villas-Boas said. "That was the first time we saw each other, we didn't know that our ways would cross paths.

"I saw him again when we were at Chelsea in 2004, when he was there as a youth team coach and he had done really well since then. He started his career at the right time, went through a difficult period at Watford.

"He came strong at Reading and Swansea. [And now] he's in a position which he deserves to be and he has a bright future."

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