Stoke v Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers ‘has respect’ for Potters
Stoke v Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers speaks of his respect for the Potters despite their style of play being heavily criticised
Brendan Rodgers has insisted that he respects Stoke City and their style of play ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day.
The Reds have only won once at the Potters’ stadium since Tony Pulis’ side were promoted to the Premier League in 2008 – and that victory came in the Carling Cup last season.
Stoke have been criticised for their direct approach since becoming an established top-flight outfit, but Rodgers believes Pulis deserves credit.
“I’ve always respected Stoke,” said Rodgers.
“There’s no right or wrong way to play football but I think Stoke sometimes have got a lot of unfair criticism.
“How they play the game, they challenge you physically, which is fine because it is a physical sport and at the top level that is what happens,” said Rodgers.
“The players are very committed to the cause, Tony (Pulis) has them very well organised and has some outstanding players. We’ll just have to deal with what the game throws at us.
“My focus is on ourselves; I’d rather Stoke worry about how we play. But at the same time you have to respect their game and the strengths that they have and combat that. At times that isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted.
“We have a mix and a balance which allows us to compete physically while also playing football. If you want to be a winning team, you have to have that balance.”