• Premier League

Rodgers warns he needs more time

ESPN staff
July 31, 2014
Emre Can needs more time than some to adapt at Liverpool © Getty Images

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is aiming to have his squad up to full strength by the end of August rather than the beginning of the season and has warned fans it will take signings time to adapt.

He watched his side beat Manchester City on penalties at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday after the sides drew 2-2 in normal time, but admitted afterwards that he still has work to do.

"We still have some positions that we want to fill within the squad so that by the end of August we have a strong group of players to go forward with," Rodgers said. We've still got some business to do.

"We've brought in specific players for specific roles, players that have the profile of how we work. It's going to take a little bit more time than normal in terms of their induction.

"But for a lot of the players that have come in, the transition has been very smooth - they are good characters with good personality and fit the criteria that we want in terms of the model of our game.

"That should make the adjustment that bit easier. Of course some of them are young and coming to a different country, like Emre Can. That will take a little bit of time.

"But what we have seen overall is something that has been a trademark of this team over the last 18 months - character. Even in a pre-season game, it [against City] was highly competitive and the players showed character to keep going and come back.

"They made some very good blocks and defended well. It was a really good game. The players are transitioning very well, though it will take a little bit of time."

Rodgers has already signed Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi this summer but has promised to stay patient in the search to replace Luis Suarez, who left to join Barcelona, after a deal for Loic Remy fell through.

His Manchester City counterpart, Manuel Pellegrini, is also calm about his team's prospects and was complimentary about Liverpool.

After Stevan Jovetic scored both goals for City and Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling levelled each time for Liverpool, Pellegrini said: "We played well for the first 45 minutes when 0-0 didn't reflect exactly what happened.

"Liverpool are a very good team, played very well. Last season they had a strong campaign and I'm sure that this year they will be fighting for the title again.

"We have had a very good pre-season. We had another five players playing game time today and the rest of the squad arrive next week.

"We are preparing for the Community Shield and the Premier League and that is the most important thing.

"The five players who arrived on Thursday will be ready and the rest of the players will arrive next Monday. They can be fit in maybe 15 days."

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