Rodgers MUST adopt Mourinho's title psychology, hints Kop icon

Liverpool legend Souness believes contending status can encumber club so perhaps Rodgers should study a page out of Chelsea's mind-game playbook.

Brendan Rodgers must motivate his Liverpool side with an underdog mentality, according to five-time title winner Graeme Souness, who believes a Premier League expectancy could be detrimental to the Anfield side and that they will fare better in the title run-in if they continue to come-from-behind in the four-horse race for this season's crown, rather than lead it.

"They have to approach it as if they are not going to win it," said Souness, as quoted by Sky Sports. "Deep down the manager has to believe, deep down the players have to believe they can win it but the message they have to get out there is that they are still second favourites or third favourites and every game is vital."

Liverpool, on Sunday, annihilated Manchester United by a 3-0 score to put a punctuation mark to their Premier League chasing status, rather than acting as a team content to settle for a spot within the top four positions in the division.

"They have got themselves into a great position. Going to Old Trafford and winning in the manner they did; well they should take a lot of confidence for the next nine games. It doesn't matter if they go behind against whoever, they can come back and score goals.

"Liverpool were fabulous. They just had too much of everything today: Too much energy, too much desire, too much class. It was a team playing at the top of their confidence, not thinking about their passing or their control against a nervy team who were searching for their control and their rhythm."

When Souness speaks of how imperative it is for Liverpool to have a champion's approach in the dressing-room alone, rather than overtly in media addresses, he alludes to a parallel in mentality to the one adopted by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho just a matter of months ago.

Prior to setting the pace atop the Premier League, Mourinho refused to acknowledge his own Blues as frontrunners for the crown and insisted that Manchester City must be favourites. He also put down Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger by highlighting the Frenchman's 'period of failure' by going pot-less all these years.

Should Brendan Rodgers continue to make the same soundbites as he has after his United thriller, instead pointing to the realities of the table - Liverpool could, after all, win all their remaining nine games but still not claim the title - then he may ease any escalating pressure on his Reds, a team not used to being in such an intriguing position within the Premier League picture during the business end of the season.

"As a Liverpool supporter I am delighted and trying to hide my emotions - going to Old Trafford is never easy but they have gone there and made it look like an easy afternoon," concluded Souness.

More performances such as that will only aid their cause, however.

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