• Premier League

Rodgers tells Liverpool squad: Believe in me or leave

ESPN staff
July 5, 2012 « Dos Santos expects Spurs departure | Chartbeat test »
Brendan Rodgers held a meeting on Wednesday © Getty Images
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed the "fantastic" attitude of Luis Suarez, but warned the rest of his squad that they can leave if they do not want to fight for Champions League football next season.

Rodgers recently revealed a chat he had held with Suarez, who has been linked with a move away from Anfield in search of top-tier European football. The Liverpool boss claimed his Uruguayan forward had agreed to stay, much to the relief of Reds fans.

Having held his first official team meeting on Wednesday, Rodgers must now set about stamping his personality on the Liverpool squad. Known as a manager who encourages passing football, Rodgers will no doubt relish working with a player of Suarez's talent, and he reiterated the exemplary attitude of the South American forward.

"The focus was on the future, and what I believe he can bring to the team in the way that we play," Rodgers told Sky Sports News, regarding his recent chat with Suarez. "He was fantastic, he was very open, and I think he was impressed by how we played last year."

Previously linked to big-spending Paris St Germain, the fear remains that Suarez could be tempted should a big-money offer arrive at Anfield. Rodgers is not losing sleep over the issue though, insisting the entire Liverpool squad can either believe in his vision or seek football elsewhere.

"You can only sell the dream going forward," Rodgers said. "There's a lot of nostalgia surrounding this club, but it's important that we recognise this is 2012 and we're not in the Champions League.

"The top players want to play at that level. Steven Gerrard wants to play at that level, Jamie Carragher, they're players who have won it.

"In the coming years we'll strive towards that. If that's not enough for a player, then they will go, simple as that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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