Liverpool's Rodgers explains why he substituted Nathaniel Clyne

Raheem Sterling And Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says withdrawing Nathaniel Clyne at half time against Sion was part of his plan.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says withdrawing Nathaniel Clyne at half time against Sion was part of his plan.

The England international was partly culpable for Sion's equaliser, sloppily giving the ball away, although goalkeeper Simon Mignolet did not cover himself in glory either.

It had appeared as though Rodgers had hooked Clyne out of frustration or for his own good, bringing on Alberto Moreno in his place, but instead the Liverpool boss said he did not want to tire out the defender before the Merseyside derby at the weekend.

Rodgers told Liverpool's official website: "We had a plan before the game that Nathaniel would play 45 and Alberto would play 45. We asked Danny Ings to play an hour.

"We’ve obviously got a number of injuries, hence the reason why we needed to protect one or two for this game.

“The only forced injury was obviously Kolo coming off, but with the rest that was the plan before the game.”

Clyne looked less than comfortable playing as wing back in Rodgers' latest 3-4-1-2 formation. It is a different role from the normal right-back position he excelled in for Southampton last season and for England, most adept to playing in a back four.

It is little wonder, as he adjusts, that mistakes will happen. Perhaps a more pressing issue is that Liverpool are treating the game like a friendly, with pre-scheduled substitutions more akin to an England international game.

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