Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool’s young stars can handle Merseyside derby
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he has no qualms about playing his young stars in the Merseyside derby on Sunday
Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool’s young stars can handle a fiery Merseyside derby ahead of the Reds’ trip to Goodison Park on Sunday.
The Liverpool manager has persevered with the club’s promising youngsters in recent weeks, with Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom all featuring as results have improved.
Despite the quartet’s relative inexperience in the Premier League, the 39-year-old will not hesitate to trust in youth against David Moyes’ high-flying side.
“Every single game for Liverpool is a massive game,” said Rodgers.
“When you put young players in, it’s not just the ability you are looking at, it’s the temperament and if you look at the three young players that I have been playing [Wisdom, Sterling and Suso] their temperament has been excellent.
“If they were to play then they will gain from experience. I have no qualms [about playing them] if I believe they are right to be in the team.”
Rodgers revealed he has spoken to Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher ahead of their clash against the Toffees, and the Reds boss is fully aware of the significance of winning the Merseyside derby.
“It’s been interesting talking to those guys [about the derby] and it’s clearly a wonderful occasion,” he added.
“I was involved in the derby between Swansea and Cardiff City and that’s a ferocious derby. A real game for the supporters. In Liverpool [the derby] means everything.
“To the people of this city, football is a way of life. For many, many other cities it is a sport or a pastime. At Liverpool, the history and what has been achieved in the past gives us real motivation going forward.
“I’ve seen the Merseyside Derby over the years and there have been some real firecrackers of games.
“There’s a lot of passion and intensity in the games, which there should be because that’s what derbies are about. But it’s also important to stay calm.”