Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has described the reception he will receive at the Liberty Stadium as “irrelevant” as he prepares to face his former club Swansea for the first time in the Premier League.
The 39-year-old swapped his role at the Swans for the Anfield hot-seat in the summer as the club parted company with Kenny Dalglish, but the new man in charge will not let sentiment get in the way on Sunday afternoon.
And despite recalling the “two fantastic years” he spent in Wales, Rodgers is looking to extend the Reds’ seven-match unbeaten run to climb from 12th place in the table after a difficult opening to the campaign.
“It is a real special place, Swansea,” he told Wales Online. “I never said I was going to be there for many years, but it took a truly unbelievable club like Liverpool to draw me away. Whatever reception I get is irrelevant.”
Rodgers’ new club were unceremoniously dumped out of the Capital One Cup by the visiting Swans in a 3-1 defeat in October, but a win would see Liverpool end the day in eighth place in the league.
And the coach praised Michael Laudrup’s team and their supporters, saying he hoped he had a positive influence in gaining promotion for the Swans to the top flight in the 2010-11 season.
He continued: “I spent two fantastic years there and had a wonderful rapport with the supporters. The club was brilliant for me and hopefully I gave them something back while I was there.
“The important thing is I know the good people there and I am sure time will heal any bad thoughts. But we are going there to keep our unbeaten run in the league going.”
After a faltering start to the 2012-13 season, Rodgers is relieved to see his side hitting form and picking up valuable points as they aim to break into the top four and the Champions League once again.
“I felt the opening period was always going to be difficult for us; a new manager, new ideas and some tough fixtures,” he added.
“There have been a lot of change over the course of the summer, but it is much smoother now and there is a real spurt around the club.
“We’ll get even stronger in the second half of the season, because we’ll get better in our ways of working and get a better understanding of what we’re trying to achieve in terms of the team.”