Liverpool boss Rodgers to continue emphasis on youth

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says that he will continue to give first-team opportunities to the club’s young stars after Raheem Sterling impressed against Manchester City.

The youthful likes of Sterling, Martin Kelly, Sebastian Coates, Joe Allen and Fabio Borini helped make the Reds’ XI against the Premier League champions their youngest in the league for over 10 years, a policy which the new boss feels can provide a counterpoint to their rivals’ excessive spending.

“Young players will run through a barbed wire fence for you,” Rodgers told reporters.

“Older players will look for the hole or just turn back and not even go through it, but you get that freshness from Raheem. I like exciting players as well and he is a boy that excites you.

“This might be a good opportunity for them. Because we don’t have the money that some of our rivals have, I want to make the philosophy through the club that allows us to bring players from the academy into the first team.

“We want to develop what this club has had for many years and develop top young players.”

The Northern Irishman ruled out the possibility of Sterling being sent out on loan, enthusing: “I am certain over the next few years that he will develop into a very good footballer – we just have to make sure that we keep the pressure off him.

“One of the things that I think I have specialised in is the management of top young players. He is certainly up in that bracket. I look at players like Scott Sinclair and boys of that ilk. He is certainly up there – maybe more advanced at that age.

“The great thing is that his attitude is wonderful. He is really focused. He comes in and he works well. He produces and he is effective on the pitch.”

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