Brendan Rodgers Admits Raheem Sterling, Joe Allen Will Need Rest During Holiday Period


Ben Davies, Raheem SterlingBrendan Rodgers has accepted that several members of his first-team squad may need a rest in the weeks to come as the manager ponders how to help his players both mentally and physically.

The Reds slipped to a 3-1 home defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday, ending a run of three consecutive victories that had catapulted Rodgers’ side back into top-four contention.

With a crammed fixture list during the Christmas period, the Northern Irishman will take a close look at his options, with some players requiring more of a break than others.

“This was a game where we had to get an early goal and make Villa come out. We had a wee bit of lethargy,” the boss said. “I don’t know why, because it’s one of the first weeks we’ve had without a midweek game, and we couldn’t have had a better week.

“I think there is an element of [fatigue], but not with Luis [Suarez]. He’s at his best when he is playing regular.

“He will tell you himself, if he was playing one game a week he would lose his rhythm — he likes to play lots of games. But I think there are others we need to give a break.”

The manager explained that 18-year-old Raheem Sterling and summer signing Joe Allen — who have played 25 and 23 games, respectively — are leading contenders for downtime.

“There is no doubt Raheem is one who does need that breather,” Rodgers said. “I’ve thought about it over the past couple of weeks. In order to do that, you need to have that depth to take him out and put somebody else in.

“That’s something I’m thinking about — who to put in. He’s a naturally very, very fit boy, but he needs that mental rest as well.

“For the kid, it’s about efficiency as well. Tactically, he’s still very young. That time will come, and he will get the breather soon enough.

“There is no doubt after working with Joe and seeing him, he’s another one. If we’re honest, there are a few who could do with that breather, especially mentally. It’s something for sure I need to have a wee look at.”

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