Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed the impact of ‘false nine’ Jonjo Shelvey after his side won 3-2 at
West Ham to move to within four points of the Premier League top four.
Shelvey played as the visitors’ lone striker at Upton Park in place of the suspended Luis Suarez, and the 20-year-old played a key role in forcing the own-goal that won the game for the Merseysiders 11 minutes from time.
“Shelvey was outstanding,” Rodgers told reporters. “He was a threat in and around the box, showed great feet. He was outstanding and a lot of credit to him because people were looking to compare him to Luis Suarez. He’s only 20 too and he’s got a big future.
“For us, there was no drama missing Luis. My focus when I came in was about the collective, sharing the ball and sharing the workload. We don’t ask anyone to do more than anyone else. I was confident we would score goals without Luis.”
The win takes the Reds into the top half of the table and Rodgers believes it will set his team up to challenge for the Champions League places at the end of the campaign.
“It’s a very tight league this season,” added the Ulsterman. “It’s more about how you finish than how you start. We’ve supposedly had a bad season, so once we hit form we will be alright!
“It’s a brilliant win for us today. Sam Allardyce has done a terrific job here and made it very difficult for teams coming here.
“I thought my players were brilliant. I thought we thoroughly deserved it in the end, some of our play was outstanding.”