Thursday, 20th September, 2012
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes that the Europa League presents "an opportunity" for his side.
Rodgers has taken the Reds to Switzerland for a clash against Young Boys this evening but, with a match against fierce rivals Manchester United looming at the weekend, has left a number of senior players at home.
Rodgers then will be handing a number of younger performers the chance to impress and he has insisted that is his style anyway.
"I’ve brought young players [here] who I feel, from what I have seen in the early part of the season, can come in and contribute. I know they’ve got talent, the question now is can they come into the first team and fight? That’s what we’re looking for", the former Swansea manager told Liverpool’s official website.
"The balance has to be right; we have young players here, who are exciting, and we have experienced players who have played a great role for me at the football club.
"We have players like Nuri Sahin who needs games to get up to speed and we’ve got guys like Jamie Carragher who need to keep ticking over as well because they are very important players for me.
"Carragher has been absolutely phenomenal, every day. To see his work, to see his focus, see how he has led his life and to see his passion for Liverpool Football Club is really encouraging and he’s a great role model for all the younger players."
And while Rodgers does admit that it is the Premier League which must remain Liverpool’s overriding priority, he does sense a chance to have a Europa League run to remember.
"There’s no doubt the Premier League is our number one priority – but I see this tournament as an opportunity", commented Rodgers.
"This is a competition that we would like to do very well in, so we’re certainly not dismissing it."