Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Reds won't fail Hull test again, says Brendan Rodgers

Reds won't fail Hull test again, says Brendan Rodgers

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 07:27
Reds won`t fail Hull test again, says Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will not repeat the costly mistakes from their last meeting with Hull when they face the Tigers at Anfield on Wednesday.

Rodgers`s team suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat against Hull at the KC Stadium on December 1 after an error-strewn performance which saw Reds defender Martin Skrtel score an own goal.

But Rodgers remains confident that sloppy display was a one-off and he expects Liverpool to return to winning ways after damaging back-to-back defeats against fellow title contenders Manchester City and Chelsea in their last two matches.

"It`s very simple -- we are at home and we expect to win," Rodgers said.

"We were very disappointed in our performance level in the game there. We were nowhere near the standard we would expect, but you have to give credit to Hull -- they exposed that on the day.

"But we aim to make sure that no matter what squad or team we put out, we don`t make the same mistakes again because home games are vitally important for us.

"We know it`s going to be like any other game at this level; a very tough game.

"They`re coming off the back of a 6-0 victory (against Fulham) that doesn`t happen too often when you`re in the Premier League, especially when it`s 0-0 at half-time. It was a terrific result."

Rodgers could welcome back captain Steven Gerrard for the match after he returned to training following a hamstring problem which has kept him on the sidelines since December 7.
However, Liverpool will definitely be without midfielder Joe Allen and centre-back Mamadou Sakho who both limped out of their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

"Joe will probably be a few weeks with an abductor strain," Rodgers added.

"Sakho, we`re just waiting for confirmation on his hamstring strain. Glen Johnson also came off at Chelsea, but that was tactical and wasn`t injury enforced.

"Steven has joined back in training, so we`ll see how he is for Hull, and I would think that probably by the Stoke game on January 12 we`ll have a number of the others who`ll not be too far away."

Striker Daniel Sturridge (ankle), as well as defenders Jose Enrique (knee) and Jon Flanagan (hamstring) are also set to miss the match.

Meanwhile, Hull defender Alex Bruce says in-form team-mate Tom Huddlestone deserves a place in England`s World Cup squad.

Huddlestone, 27, ended a two-and-a-half-year goal drought in Hull`s 6-0 victory over Fulham on Saturday and the former Tottenham man played a part in three of his side`s other goals.

Huddlestone has four England caps but has not appeared for his country since November 2011.

Bruce believes the midfielder, who has featured in every league game for Hull this season, is worthy of a place in England`s squad.

"If Roy Hodgson had been there against Fulham, then Tom would be on the plane to Brazil," Bruce said.

"It was a masterclass performance -- one of the best I`ve ever seen to be honest. He was unplayable. He was different class.

"If Tom keeps playing like that he has to be in contention -- there is not an if, but or maybe about it.

"If he plays like that he must be going because for me, there is no-one better in the country at the minute.

"His goal was unbelievable and then he hits a free kick from 45 yards which creates another goal. Only certain people can do that."

Hull have doubts over winger Robbie Brady as he continues his recovery from a groin injury, while striker Sone Aluko will definitely miss out with a calf problem.
AFP --------------------------

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