Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers unfazed by Rafael Benítez claim
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is unfazed by Rafael Benítez's claim that the Spaniard will return to Anfield in the future
Brendan Rodgers insists he is unfazed by Rafael Benítez’s claim that the Spaniard will “almost certainly” return to Liverpool in the future.
The Chelsea interim manager is set to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer after a difficult six months in charge of the Blues.
Rodgers took over from Reds legend Kenny Dalglish at the Anfield helm in May 2012, and the Northern Irishman’s first season as Liverpool manager has been full of highs and lows.
But the former Swansea boss, whose side are currently in seventh place in the Premier League table, is unconcerned about the prospect of Benítez making an emotional return to the Merseyside outfit.
“I’ve not seen them [the Benítez quotes]. Obviously that opportunity was there in the summer. It’s not a hindrance to me,” Rodgers said in Wednesday’s news conference.
“There are lots of managers who would like to be here, not just Rafa Benítez.”
Rodgers also revealed Stewart Downing will be available for the trip to Reading on Saturday but Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling will not be part of the squad.
“Raheem won’t be involved. Stewart Downing had a bout of sickness last weekend just before the game, hence the reason for him having to come off,” Rodgers added.
“He’s fine now. Apart from that, we’re fit and strong – the players are looking very good.”
On Sterling’s fitness, Rodgers added: “The medics wanted to take him out for a few weeks just to see where he was at with injuries. It has been an ongoing one.
“He’s a very young player so we don’t want to risk any long-term injury when there’s no need. Of course you would rather have him in the squad to develop him, but this is a part of making sure we have a duty of care for him as a young player.
“When he shows signs of fatigue and a little bit of injury, we have to look at that and treat it in the best way we think possible. At the moment, that’s to take him out.”