Cardiff City – Liverpool Preview: Rodgers calls for focus after Manchester United thrashing

Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool cannot rest on past glories when the Premier League title hopefuls visit Cardiff City on Saturday.

Liverpool were utterly dominant in beating fierce rivals Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday, a result that left Rodgers’ side four points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.
However, with a trip to relegation-threatened Cardiff on the horizon, Rodgers is focussing his players’ minds on the task in hand.

“The focus has been purely on Cardiff City, that’s been our world this week,” said the former Swansea City boss.

“We had a wonderful performance at Old Trafford, but there hasn’t been any talk of the title. We’re just enjoying how we’re playing.

“The run-in for us is the next game. We have tough games right through, starting with a very tough game against Cardiff. We can speak about the run-in when it’s over.”

Rodgers’ men come into the game as the Premier League’s form side, having won all five of their previous league outings, scoring 18 goals in the process.

The strike partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez has plundered a combined total of 43 league goals this season, including two for the Uruguayan in a 3-1 win at Anfield in the reverse fixture in December.

That proved to be Malky Mackay’s penultimate game in charge of Cardiff, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking the reins in January.

The change of manager has hardly brought a change of fortunes, however, with the Welsh outfit picking up seven points from the Norwegian’s 10 league matches in charge.

Cardiff sit second from bottom in the table, three points from safety, although Solskjaer’s side did secure a crucial three points in their last outing at the Cardiff City Stadium, as Steven Caulker scored twice in a 3-1 win over Fulham.

Solskjaer, meanwhile, has called on his players to earn cult status by avoiding the drop.

“Our fans love their heroes out there on the pitch,” he said.

“I’ve said I’m going to work and earn their support, and they can see we have a team that is going to do our best to make them proud.

“We need heroes now definitely. It is eight games to go and I’m sure one or two heroes will step forward.”

For Liverpool, defender Mamadou Sakho returned to the first-team squad on Sunday for the first time since suffering a hamstring problem in December and has this week declared himself fit and available for selection.

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