Brendan Rodgers gives Liverpool injury update, comments on goalkeepers and January window

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

The Italian forward returns after suspension and a groin injury, whilst Brendan Rodgeers was asked about January transfer rumours

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Mario Balotelli will return to the side for the Reds' Boxing Day trip to Turf Moor to take on Burnley.

Balotelli was suspended for the 2-2 draw against Arsenal, and has also been nursing a groin injury recently. Joe Allen, Jon Flanagan and Glen Johnson all miss out through injury, whilst Fabio Borini is suspended.

Rodgers confirmed that his side will be training and travelling to Burnley on Christmas day as they look to get some good results to back up their recent promising performances.

The Liverpool boss was asked about transfer rumours with Fernando Torres and Petr Cech both being linked with a move to Anfield in the past week.

Rodgers told reporters: "I won't comment on any player linked to here. My only concentration is working with the group here and if there's a possibility of strengthening in January, we'll take a look – at the right type of player." 

Inevitably, Rodgers was asked about the goalkeeping situation given the links with Cech, and Brad Jones replacing Simon Mignolet in goal for the past three matches given the Belgian's loss of form.

The Reds' boss praised Jones for his professionalism, and said he is happy with the reaction he has got from Mignolet so far.

"He [Jones] didn't play a lot but still does his work with maximum intensity. Some players might get disheartened. But he's a wonderful professional, looks after his body well, prepares himself well. They are a close-knit group, goalkeepers, and have worked and supported each other."

"Simon Mignolet's response has been fantastic. He's been outstanding, his training has been good, we're analysing the parts of the game he can improve."

The late draw against Arsenal saw arguably Liverpool's best performance of the season as they adapt to a new 3-4-2-1 formation that gets as many playmakers involved in the game as possible, and helps press the opposition. The Liverpool boss said it showed there is confidence within the camp, despite languishing in 10th place in the Premier League.

"That real aggressive pressure gives us the platform to dominate the ball so it's been a lot of work, we haven't just stumbled across this system, a lot of thinking time and hours have gone in on how we can maximise it. In the last three games it's been much closer, we have to work very hard, players are adapting to the club and performances will get better and better."

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