Brendan Rodgers pre-match press conference: Stoke is the perfect start

Premier League
Sunday 09 August 2015 - 4:00 pm
Britannia Stadium
Stoke City0
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Brendan Rodgers insists that facing Stoke City for the opening game is the 'perfect fixture' for Liverpool's start.

The final game of last season was a humiliating 6-1 defeat at the Britannia stadium, so when the fixture computer threw that game out for Liverpool's opener Rodgers admitted he was pleased:

"It was a unique game. We all knew it was unacceptable and whatever stick we got for it we deserved. For me, it's the perfect fixture for us first up, I was happy that came out."

"A score like that should never happen. We owe them (the fans). We will certainly be better than we were at Stoke last season, we lacked everything that day."

Brendan was asked about the targets for the season ahead:

"Our first objective is to get into the top four. We know we have to be better all the way across the field in terms of goals. This season we will look to put up a greater fight, and the goal is to arrive in the top four. The first eight games are vital. A good start for us will be important."

Brendan also announced the name of the new vice-captain:

"When there was the possibility (James Milner) was available, we were surprised, but hopeful we could get him. His talent is undeniable. He works tirelessly, he's in two-and-a-half hours before we train. He has great character and will be a great ally for Jordan Henderson. He is a great character in the dressing room, he will be vice captain."

At the end of last season there were some significant changes to Liverpool's backroom with Mike Marsh and Colin Pascoe sacked.  The reds brought in Sean O'Driscoll, Gary McAllister and promoted Pepijn Lijnders and Brendan was asked about the new coaching line-up.

"It is working so well so far. It was needed. It has galvanised the players with the new players coming in and the three coaches coming in. You can't perform like we did it the end of last season if you want to be a top club."

He waxed lyrical about new signing Christian Benteke:

"Benteke is the type who fits perfectly for us. He has massive potential. He can play the power game and his movement is very clever. For me, he can play in any type of game. He's going to be a huge player for us."

The manager also confirmed some injury updates:

Joe Allen - out for up to a month
Daniel Sturridge - could be back by September
Jon Flanagan - return pencilled in before Christmas


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