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Rodgers thanks Suarez for 'good luck' text

ESPN staff
August 17, 2014 « Gold rush for Britain as Farah secures distance double | Day 6: Maria Ho eliminated, 68 left »
Liverpool hang on in opener

Brendan Rodgers has revealed Luis Suarez helped inspire Liverpool to victory in their first competitive game since his departure by sending them a text message wishing his former team-mates well.

Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge scored in Sunday's 2-1 win over Southampton as Liverpool began life without their former forward, who joined Barcelona for £75 million in July.

Luis Suarez joined Barcelona from Liverpool in a £75 million move © Getty Images
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But manager Rodgers, who reiterated that he remains keen to sign a striker to replace Suarez, said Liverpool are grateful he has stayed in touch.

"He sent us a lovely text this morning wishing us all the best, which was a great gesture. He is a friend now of Liverpool," Rodgers said.

"He is a great boy but he is gone now. Our ambitions here at Liverpool have to be bigger than one player. We do still want another striker but that will depend on the availability."

Sturridge scored the second-half winner on his 50th appearance for the club, meaning only the 19th-century forward George Allen has struck more often in his first 50 Liverpool games.

"For Daniel, it was just a continuation," Rodgers added. "I think that is 36 goals in 50 appearances which is the [second] best of any striker in Liverpool's history. That shows the level he is at. He always looks like he will score. It was a poacher's goal."

Rodgers singled out defender Dejan Lovren for praise after he impressed on his debut against his former club following his £20 million move from Southampton.

"I thought Lovren was excellent," he said. "It is always difficult when you play against your old team. If you have nine or 10 things to think about, when you play your old team you have 20. He is a real leader and he was excellent."

Rodgers also accepted Liverpool were not at their best. He added: "We had to grind out a result. Today was a brilliant win for us. It was a tough game. I am really happy with that determination and character. As the season rolls on, we will get better and more fluent."

Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Strurridge "always looks like he will score" © Getty Images
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