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Brendan Rodgers gives Liverpool injury update ahead of Newcastle clash

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Brendan Rodgers discussed the fitness of his squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Newcastle United, with five players unavailable, and reflected on the midweek win over Swansea City.

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique is out of this weekend's trip to his old club Newcastle United with a knee injury, manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.

Enrique missed the midweek win over Swansea City in the League Cup, and is one of five members who are sidelined for the Reds' trip to the North East. The Reds are also without Suso who has a groin injury, Mamadou Sakho still has a thigh problem whilst there is no further update on the fitness of Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan who have calf and knee problems respectively.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool's trip to the North East in Saturday's early kick-off, he said: "Enrique has an issue with his knee and won't be available."

The Spaniard last featured against QPR two weeks ago, which means first-choice left-back Alberto Moreno is almost certain to return to the side after he was rested in midweek.

Having made several changes in midweek against Swansea, Rodgers said the performance against the Swans was as good as any from the side this season, describing the performance of Fabio Borini as 'outstanding,' which will give the Italian hope of making an impact at the club this season - having turned down moves to both Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers.

He added: "With Daniel Sturridge out, it's a miss but it gives opportunities to others. Fabio Borini was outstanding the other night." 

There was the inevitable questions surrounding Mario Balotelli again, with Rodgers saying he has no concerns about the forward, and the Liverpool boss commented on Lazar Markovic, who has yet to make a significant impact since signing from Benfica for £20 million. The Serbian showed flashes of quality on Tuesday but has yet to make a contribution in terms of goals or assists to far this term.

The Liverpool boss said: "We brought young Markovic in for the longer term. We have confidence he will become a big player for us."

Rodgers knows Liverpool are in for a difficult game, facing a Newcastle side that has enjoyed three wins on the bounce in all competitions, and praised the hierarchy at St James's Park for sticking by their manager Alan Pardrew, who has endured a difficult start to the season.

He added: "Great credit to the directors at Newcastle. We all know the pressures when you are not winning games. Pardew is very experienced." 

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