Jose Enrique Says Brendan Rodgers Wants Fullbacks to Contribute to Liverpool Attack

Jose Enrique Says Brendan Rodgers Wants Fullbacks to Contribute to Liverpool AttackJose Enrique aims to emulate teammate Jamie Carragher in becoming a stalwart in the Reds’ defense and has set his sights on a long and successful career at Anfield.

Enrique made the switch from Newcastle in the summer of 2011 and insists he has already improved significantly during a year spent on Merseyside.

The Spaniard claims he still has much to learn about the game and believes new manager Brendan Rodgers can help nurture his talent over the coming seasons.

“I want to play here for as many years as I can and play as many games — I hope to be like Carra but that would be really difficult,” Enrique told Liverpoolfc.com.

“I want to stay here because it’s an amazing club and a big club and every player dreams of being here. I also want to win as many titles as I can. I’ve played in English football for five years and it’s amazing to play here.

“But I’m still learning. At teams like Liverpool you learn quickly; in one year here I have learned a lot and with this manager I have learned plenty too.

“The manager gives us simple instructions. He says more things during the week than he does in his pre-match team talks. He has tried to instruct and improve every player and I think this is a good thing because everyone is still learning. I still make mistakes, so I have to learn.

“The manager wants me to make more assists and score more goals and play more like a forward. He has told Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly to do the same and Stewart Downing in the left-back role. He wants us all to play like wing-backs. I really like to play like this.”

The Spaniard is also a keen fan of the way Rodgers has drilled it into his players that they must press the ball high up the field.

However, Enrique admits such an intense approach to closing the opposition requires an equally high level of exertion from the players throughout the week at Melwood.

“The manager wants us to press really high,” he explained. “This makes it uncomfortable for other teams. Against Manchester City, they were forced to concede possession even when they had many options around them, because of our pressure.

“It’s hard for us as well because everyone has to be really, really fit because you have to press and you have to run more when you don’t have the ball than when you do have possession. It’s definitely harder but we are professionals and you have to do it.

“But this is what we want because this is the way Barcelona play and they are the best team in the world. They try to press really high and then keep the ball and this will really frustrate the other team. If we can play like this, we can win many games.”

Downing played the full 90 minutes in the left-back position against Hearts during the second leg of the Reds’ Europa League playoff at Anfield after the manager spoke of his intention to employ the winger in a deeper role.

But Enrique insists he isn’t fazed by the added competition for his position.

“It’s a good thing because before [Downing played left-back] there was just myself and Jack Robinson,” explained No. 3. “With the way we intend to play, that is with the right back and left back attacking, Stewart can fit in well.”

“He’s a good lad and I’m happy for him. We have many, many games this year and so it’s good to have competition for places.”

Photo via Facebook/Hillsborough 1989 – Don’t Ever Forget

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