• FA Cup

Rodgers: I had to rely on star players

ESPN staff
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Brendan Rodgers saw his son play at Anfield - for Oldham © PA Photos
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted he had to rely on his star players to get them through their FA Cup third round tie with Oldham.

Rodgers watched his side labour to a 2-0 victory over the League One strugglers, but had to call on substitutes Phillipe Coutinho, Lucas and Luis Suarez during the second half of a match which also saw Iago Aspas score his first goal for the club.

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However, Rodgers admitted that, despite wanting to rest several of his key players for the tie, the decision to bring them on at Anfield was one that he had to make.

"I had to do it, We needed more speed and intensity to our game," Rodgers said. "You can either wait for it to happen or do something about it because the last thing we wanted was a replay.

"Coutinho and Lucas added intensity and purpose to our game. It was a difficult game and you have to give Oldham a lot of credit for making it that way. We were nowhere near the speed of our game and in the second half we were a lot better.

"You hope to rest some players and give them a recovery period because they've had hard games."

Meanwhile, Rodgers was present to watch holders Wigan draw against MK Dons at the DW Stadium on Saturday, with the Daily Mail reporting he was watching 17-year-old midfielder Dele Alli.

"I know Brendan quite well and we speak about different players all the time. I don't know the reason why he was at the game but Dele is special," MK Dons manager Karl Robinson said.

"You will have seen him do some silly things because he is 17 years of age but he produced some bits of magic and you don't see many of them playing in an FA Cup third-round tie against a very good Wigan side and not look out of place."

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