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Rodgers hails individual quality of Suarez and Sturridge

The Liverpool manager sung the praises of his strike duo for their blossoming partnership but also feels they are equally adept independently.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed his strikeforce of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and believes the pair have just as much to offer on an individual basis as they do together.

Suarez and Sturridge, or perhaps more commonly known as SAS to the Anfield faithful, have scored a stunning 37 goals between them this season in the Premier League and are two of the top three scorers domestically, with Sergio Agüero's tally of 15 sandwiched in between Suarez's 23 and the 14 of Sturridge.

Rodgers, though, views his two star men as individual phenomenons as opposed to the strength of the two together, as the Reds look ti seal fourth spot and Champions League football for the first time since the 2009/2010 season.

“Their job is to create and score goals and they are doing that remarkably well,” Rodgers told The Liverpool Echo.

“Both are outstanding talents but they aren’t the partnership that everyone goes on about.

“They are different types of players who fit into a system. What we have is two individuals with qualities which are different. Both have a desire to score goals but they are not your traditional partnership.

“I see them as two very talented players we are looking to integrate into a team structure. My job is to fit them into the team.”

Finding enough room for two strikers has proven problematic for Rodgers at times this season, however, with the recent 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa - potentially damaging in their pursuit for fourth - the consequence of an attack-minded side featuring a midfield of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling.

There was an obvious imbalance in the absence of Lucas Leiva and Rodgers accepts there is as much of need for discipline defensively as there is from an offensive perspective.

“There is a lot of tactical thinking that goes on behind them,” Rodgers said.

“3-5-2 is a system we can play but it’s not one I prefer to play because of the space you offer up the sides. I like to have superiority in the middle of the field.

“Both Luis and Daniel can play on the sides, but when one of them does we give them the freedom to move and penetrate, especially Daniel because his penetration is so fast and that’s a key part of the game for us.

“They interchange because they are floating players anyway and their movement is really dynamic. When they haven’t got the ball they have to work like animals as there is a big responsibility on them to defend that side of the field.

“Behind that we just need to ensure that tactically we can block and cover the spaces. That’s something that Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson did so well against Everton.

“I’ll always go with an offensive mindset but there always has to be tactical discipline.

“They all have to buy into the team and we’ve seen that during my time here. The team is a work in progress, I don’t set it up just for Luis and Daniel.

“It’s about good players and maximising their talents. At this moment in time as we have evolved as a team and got better they have grown with it as well.”

images: © dannymol, © kuaver

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