Liverpool latest: Ex-Reds striker begs club to back - not sack - Brendan Rodgers

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Heskey backs Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool's poor start to the season was compounded by Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Basel, which saw the Reds crash out of the Champions League in the group stage.

The pressure is mounting on manager Brendan Rodgers, but former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey told Goal that the club need to back their manager rather than sack him.

"I don't think [he should be sacked]. He's been given a long-term plan to move forward," said Heskey. "Last year was a phenomenal jump and everyone's looking at this season being a backwards step, but he still has to get the best out of the new signings and it usually takes about a year for them to get used to the Premier League."

Souness seeks turnaround at Old Trafford

When it rains, it pours. Now, Rodgers and Liverpool face their big derby match this weekend, as they travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United - and another former Liverpool star, Graeme Souness, says he hopes that it can spark a revival for the Reds; and backed Steven Gerrard to be the man to do it.

"What you hope as a Liverpool supporter - and certainly what I hope as a Liverpool supporter - is that some of the big players stand up and are counted at the weekend, as going to Old Trafford, even when we were dominant, was never an easy game for Liverpool," said Souness.

"Steven Gerrard is the one very special player that Liverpool have got, and he has been for the last 10 years, and time and time again he has got big goals in big games for them," Souness continued. "And even at 34 you would argue that he is still their biggest influence."

“So hopefully that is the same at the weekend and he turns up at Old Trafford and whether it is a free kick, a magic pass, or he fires one in from 25 yards, they need someone to spark their season and he is the most likely one who can do that," he added.

Sterling snubs new contract

And the problems continue to pile up for Rodgers, as reports today suggest that forward Raheem Sterling has rejected a new contract to stay at Anfield.

The England international, 20, only signed a brand new five-year contract in 2012, but has now snubbed a £70,000-per-week offer from the Reds.

It's believed that Sterling is looking for a figure in the region of £100,000-per-week, and that the current offer is 'nowhere near enough' for him to put pen to paper - leaving Rodgers and Liverpool with another problem to solve.

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