Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of bolstering his Liverpool squad with players that can make an immediate impact this summer — just as Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho have since arriving in January.
The boss has been delighted with the form of the duo, who have scored seven goals between them since moving to Merseyside in the last transfer window.
Rodgers will be looking for players who can make a similar impression on his team this summer.
In an interview with Yahoo!, he said: “We would have liked to bring in a few more players in the summer but we didn’t, and the group were admirable with how they coped in that period because we had a lot of games. We knew we had to bring in reinforcements in January and the board worked superbly to get those players.
“We are hopeful that come the summer we can make more additions that will take us on to the next level. The business we did in January however was excellent and that’s a great credit to the club.”
Sturridge has made a flying start to his Liverpool career after joining the club from Chelsea.
The striker fired in each of his first three games for the Reds, and has since added two more to his tally after forming a seemingly immediate understanding with Luis Suarez.
“I’ve known Daniel for a long time, since his early teens, so I’ve been able to follow his progress closely,” said Rodgers. “There had been talk for some time about Daniel coming to the club but we needed to be sure that he was going to be the right fit for what we required.
“He has settled in very well, but he still has lots of aspects of his game to work on in order to achieve what he wants to and to allow him to make the kind of impact that we want.
“He has made a very promising start and as long as he maintains that same level of commitment and responsible attitude to improving, I can see him being a great signing for the club.”
Equally as impressive has been Coutinho, who as well as scoring twice has carved out several goals for his teammates and quickly won over Kopites with his ability.
And though the Brazilian may be short in stature, Rodgers insists he had no doubts he’d be able to adjust to the demands of the English game.
“He might be slight in stature but he’s still got real power and mental strength too, plus he’s a wonderful technician,” he said. “I don’t think that there is any question that he can cope with the physical demands. He’s a Brazilian boy so as well as all the technique, skill and flair; you also find that they are tough. There haven’t been too many Brazilians that have come into this country and have not succeeded. They tend to be robust and when you mix that with their technical and tactical qualities, I think that a player like Philippe will be a great addition for us.”
The arrivals of Sturridge and Coutinho have helped enhance the attacking style of football Rodgers has implemented since being installed to the helm last summer.
It’s an approach that has won plenty of favor with supporters — something that gives the manager a real sense of satisfaction.
“I’ve been very pleased because at the end of the day the supporters are the people that count,” said Rodgers. “You always want to win games and to develop the team, so it’s very important that you have encouragement from your fans. Our supporters have shown exactly why they are so well renowned — I’ve really felt and appreciated their support.”
Shortly after arriving at the club, Rodgers restored the original “This is Anfield” sign to the Anfield tunnel. Such acts demonstrated his eagerness to stress the importance of embracing Liverpool’s illustrious history.
“It’s everything and things like the ‘This is Anfield’ sign are symbols of the great past,” he stated. “What is also important, though, is that we are not held hostage to our history. This is an incredible club, you only need to walk into the reception to see a European Cup in the hallway, so you know that everyday you come in you have to be good.
“It’s important that we use that as motivation and commitment for our future. The wonderful players and managers that we have had here provide inspiration to us all and it gives us a great focus going forward to try and recreate those memories.”
Asked how he approaches the challenge of “building a team worthy of great managers like Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley,” Rodgers replied: “First and foremost there is no comparison in relation to those greats of the past; those two managers will always be remembered here.
“For someone like me, my job is to build the club again, like Bill Shankly did very successfully and that set up the many successful eras that everyone remembers Liverpool for.
“That’s what I’m trying to replicate and it’s a huge challenge, because the club is an institution, but it is a challenge that I’ve enjoyed every minute of and all the staff and players have also. I’ve seen real progress this season and I would expect us to continue that over the next couple of years.”
A “one club for all” mentality is another factor Rodgers has instilled throughout all sections of Liverpool — something he feels is vital in the quest for success.
“If you are going to be successful there is no point in having three or four top individual players because those players will win you games but they will never win you titles,” he explained. “A strong team ethos is very important and no one at Liverpool is asked to do anymore than anyone else, we all share the same work ethic and focus to be the very best that we can. There are many different ways that you can create that ethos but the best way is to do it on the training field everyday.
“We set high standards on and off the training pitch for all members of staff and that can be the biggest thing so far as creating a winning culture is concerned, it is something that we continue to work very hard at.”
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