- Premier League
Rodgers: Let's make City nervous
Brendan Rodgers has called on Liverpool to pile the pressure on title favourites Manchester City by scoring an early goal against Newcastle at Anfield.
City need just a point to clinch the title today, with Liverpool needing West Ham to secure what would be a shock win at the Etihad Stadium, as well as seeing off Newcastle themselves.
But Rodgers, who says the title race will go "right to the wire", feels that if Liverpool get off to one of the early starts that has been a trademark of their season then City will start to feel the nerves.
"It will be interesting if we make one of our quick starts and get up in the game. Then there'll be a point when we're up and City are drawing," said Rodgers.
"It's not nice when you know there's another team playing that can win. When you know you have to not lose, it's uncomfortable.
"It's not over by any stretch of the imagination and West Ham are a really good defensive unit. Andy Carroll can score goals, they've got other players who can score goals and there will be a nervousness there."
Rodgers, in his second season in charge at Anfield after leaving Swansea in 2012, added: "One of the things that stood out for me in my last game at Swansea was that one or two of the Liverpool players were on holiday," said Rodgers.
"They'd just lost the [FA] Cup final, probably a few of them had gone out during the week and then came into our game. We murdered Liverpool 1-0.
"One of the first things I said to the players when I arrived here was that they would be worked intensely from the first day of pre-season until the final whistle goes at the last game. That is why the training this week has been as intense as in pre-season. And why it will go right to the wire."
Rodgers also insisted that if Liverpool do fail to clinch the title, it will be Raheem Sterling's disallowed goal in their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day, not Steven Gerrard's slip in the 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea, that has cost them.
Following that incorrect offside call against Sterling, Rodgers was fined for questioning referee Lee Mason's integrity.
"When someone of that greatness and ability, it's just unfortunate what happened to him [Gerrard], but it could have happened to anyone," added Rodgers. "It would be more unfortunate if the decision at Man City, when I got fined £8,000, might define the season. The offside. I was the guy who never speaks about referees. Sterling is clearly onside and in on goal. If we get a goal then...
"It's the only time in my life I've been fined. I knew at that time it might be significant. So that might define our season. It won't be Stevie's slip. He's achieved so much in his career and he's still got a few seasons to go. We'll do everything we can as a football club over the next few years to hopefully allow supporters not to sing that."