Liverpool’s Rodgers: Suárez doesn’t need a rest – but Allen & Sterling do
Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers says Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling need a rest, but he has no concerns over Luis Suárez's fitness
Brendan Rodgers has dismissed the suggestion Luis Suárez could suffer from fatigue with a demanding festive schedule, but the Liverpool boss is considering handing Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling a rest.
The Uruguay international returned to Liverpool’s starting line-up for their 3-1 loss to Aston Villa after serving a one-game suspension following his fifth caution of the season against Southampton.
Suárez has scored 13 goals in 22 appearances for the Reds this season, but the former Ajax man looked sluggish by the striker’s high standards at Anfield on Saturday.
However, Rodgers believes the 24-year-old needs regular football to maintain his match sharpness.
“This was a game where we had to get an early goal and make Villa come out. We had a wee bit of lethargy,” Rodgers told Liverpool’s website.
“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.”
However, the Liverpool boss did admit he is considering resting Allen and Sterling, with the pair having featured in 25 and 23 games respectively this season.
“There is no doubt Raheem is one who does need that breather,” added Rodgers.
“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.”