• Premier League

Rodgers: It's like the Anfield of old

ESPN staff
April 11, 2014
ESPN FC: Bursting Liverpool's bubble

Brendan Rodgers is ready to "unleash the crowd" on Sunday's opponents Manchester City in order to push Liverpool towards a new era of Premier League success.

Rodgers' side lead the table with five games to go, and can take a major step towards their first league title since 1990 by beating City at Anfield.

Manuel Pellegrini's side are a major threat in the title race despite being four points off the top, as the third-placed side have two games in hand. But Liverpool, who also still have to host second-placed Chelsea, are hoping that their home form can give them the edge in the final weeks of the season.

'Liverpool v City is not a title decider'

  • "I don't think this decides the title," Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said ahead of his side's crunch clash at Liverpool. "It is a very important game but it will not decide everything."
  • Read the full story here

Liverpool have won 14 out of 16 home league games this season, with a defeat against Southampton in September and a draw against Aston Villa in January the only blemishes on that record. A 4-0 victory over Tottenham in their last home game on March. 30 sent Rodgers' team to the top for the first time since Boxing Day, and was met with a huge roar of encouragement from The Kop at the final whistle.

Rodgers said: "We will unleash the supporters yet again on our opponents.

"Anfield is a very difficult place for visiting teams to come and play now. I sense a real nostalgia about the place, a feeling of the old Liverpool. And that will help to drive us forward, not hold us back.

"It's a significant game. You have two teams that have done extremely well this season in their own ways, and it should be a fantastic game of football. But there's still a lot of work to be done after it. Our focus on Sunday is on the three points, because that is all that will come out of the game.

"You can take confidence and belief out of it as well, but there are still 12 points to play for after Sunday."

Rodgers, who took charge at Liverpool in June 2012, continues to play down talk of pressure on his team as they bid to end their long wait for a title - insisting that they are "fearless" as they prepare to take on City.

"There's talk about pressure and different types of words to describe it, but for us it's excitement. We're really enjoying where we are," Rodgers said.

"It's not something that has happened by accident. Over the last 20 months or so, we've been building to arrive at where we are and we're looking to sustain it over a longer period.

"We're enjoying it. The players are very focused. We're calm and the training this week has been outstanding. There are certainly no nerves."

Rodgers, though, is happy for the supporters to dream of winning the title.

"The most important thing is to get into the Champions League because I know what that brings economically," he added.

"But if we can continue to play well and get a little bit of luck, then we hope we can make their dreams come true. We will give it absolutely everything."

The Premier League announced on Friday that Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez will share the Player of the Month award for March, while Brendan Rodgers collected the Premier League Manager of the Month award after the Reds won all five of their games to lead the table.

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