- Premier League
Rodgers: I've added value to Downing and Co
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he was brought into the club to help develop players as well as win matches, insisting he has advanced the talent of the likes of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson.
Rodgers has had a fairly mixed season since arriving at Liverpool in the summer with inconsistency meaning the club lie eighth in the Premier League table.
However, the former Swansea boss has always talked about a long-term plan and part of that plan he feels is about improving his players' performance levels.
"It is all about the materials. I am not a magician," he told the Guardian. "I will be able to improve players - that is my work and I have confidence in that.
"If I look at the first six months, I believe there has been improvement in a lot of the players. I will be able to rinse everything that I possibly can out of them, but the bottom line is about talent. If you don't initially have that then it can be difficult. That is also why I was brought in here, because we will get talents and we will try to maximise what we can out of players."
Since Rodgers' arrival he has managed to get the best out of some of the players who struggled under Kenny Dalglish last season. Stewart Downing has worked his way into the team after being told he was free to leave the club, Jordan Henderson was offered to Fulham in the summer but has impressed recently, while Jose Enrique has reinvented himself as a real attacking threat.
"You look at Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique since the start of the season and we have added value back to them. Absolutely," Rodgers said. "That is the job of the manager and the coach, as well as winning games.
"My job is to improve players in every aspect of their game and that is something we will look to do because we don't have the resources of the top clubs who are out there paying big money. We won't have that. So we have to find the difference through coaching."
Liverpool signed Daniel Sturridge for £12 million last week and although the club are hoping for further additions, Rodgers admits he is working on a tight budget.
"We will always be governed by budget, always be governed by restrictions on certain things within the club because if you haven't got the money you can't spend it," he said. "Then you have to work with the players you have and I have done that throughout my life.
"I will always push to get the best possible squad we can here but the most important thing at the minute is putting in place the philosophy and model that will allow us to improve players."