Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers: Emre Can like a Rolls Royce
Brendan Rodgers was thrilled with Emre Can's composure in Merseyside derby
Brendan Rodgers has described Emre Can as a Rolls Royce after the Liverpool defender’s performance in Saturday’s Merseyside derby.
The makeshift centre-half managed to keep Everton striker Romelu Lukaku quiet as the Reds kept their fourth successive clean sheet.
They connected the game really well and we now have got a real solid structure defensively
Can has impressed alongside fellow centre-halves Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho after Rodgers made the tactical switch in December.
The Northern Irishman was particularly pleased with Can’s assured display, helping Liverpool to move within four points of fourth-placed Manchester United.
“What was decent was in such an intense atmosphere the composure of the young players,” Rodgers is quoted as saying by Daily Mail.
“Emre Can, he was like a Rolls Royce at the back at 21 and he defended fantastically.
“Jordon Ibe and the rest showed great composure. They connected the game really well and we now have got a real solid structure defensively and 86 minutes was (Everton’s) first shot on target.”
Jordon Ibe was a surprise inclusion in the 42-year-old’s Liverpool starting line-up for the trip across Stanley Park to bitter rivals Everton.
The 19-year-old came closest to breaking the deadlock after the forward unleashed a powerful finish which beat Joel Robles but he was denied by the woodwork.
However, the Liverpool manager, whose side face Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Tuesday, was delighted with Ibe’s mature performance.
“I have been just waiting to put him in. I called him back because I thought now he can really contribute,” Rodgers added.
“He had a great spell on loan, which is what you want from your young players, and he had a good time at a good club but it was time for him to come back and feature.
“I had no qualms about putting him in. It was a brilliant performance by him, he was unfortunate not to have scored with his run and strike.
“He has wonderful temperament and technique and is tactically very good for a kid coming into that system. I am very pleased for him.”