Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is wary of the threat that Sunderland possess ahead of Sunday’s clash against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Daniel Agger could be fit for the trip to the North East having returned to training following a rib injury, but Joe Allen will not be part of the squad.
Rodgers is urging his men to bounce back against Sunderland after a week which has seen two 1-0 defeats to Southampton and to Manchester United, the latter knocking them out of the League Cup.
Sunderland currently have Kevin Ball in charge as Caretaker Manager whilst the board are looking for a replacement for Paulo Di Canio, who was sacked after last week’s defeat against West Bromwich Albion.
“We are very determined to continue a good run in the league.
“You always find an upturn when a manager comes in. It’s unfortunate that Paulo [Di Canio] lost his job. They had a victory during the week and obviously Kevin [Ball] will be looking for the players to put on a performance again.
“We had a tough game their last year, we played very well in the second half. Like every game at this level it is going to be a tough game. For us in order to keep climbing [the table] and moving forward, it’s a game we’re determined to go and win.”
The Northern Irishman said that Luis Suarez came through the defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday unscathed after returning from a ten game ban, and despite the birth of his second child yesterday, he will be able to play at Sunderland as the squad has no fresh injury worries ahead of Sunday’s fixture.
The Liverpool boss defended comments from Managing Director Ian Ayre that said Luis Suarez’s behaviour had affected the brand of the club.
“It was very unfair on Ian. He wasn’t talking about Luis Suarez he was talking more about the coverage as a whole.”
Rodgers was quoted in the press as saying that young winger Raheem Sterling needed to get his life sorted so he succeed on the football pitch, and described him as ‘tough’ at today’s press conference.
“Raheem is a good kid, he’s only 18 years of age. He burst onto the scene last year and was outstanding. I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s a good boy who we really need to nurture."
image: © Bernard C