Rodgers hits back at Lineker: He doesn’t understand

The former England striker questioned the decision to make seven changes and leave star names on the bench for Tuesday’s trip to the Santiago Bernabeu

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has brushed aside criticism of his team selection against Real Madrid by Gary Lineker.

Former England striker Lineker was among those to express surprise at the line-up chosen by Rodgers for Tuesday’s meeting with the European champions in Group B of the Champions League.

Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson were left on the bench as Rodgers made seven changes to the team beaten 1-0 by Newcastle, seemingly with one eye on the clash against Chelsea.

Rodgers has left out Henderson, Sterling, Balotelli, Gerrard and Coutinho at Real Madrid. He has, though, thrown in a white towel.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 4, 2014

Selecting a weakened side in Europe’s premier competition, especially against Real Madrid, is unbefitting of a club of Liverpool’s stature.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 4, 2014

If I were one of Liverpool’s star players, I’d be choked to be left out of a game at the Bernabeu against the European Champions.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 4, 2014

“Gary is a figure I respect and he was a top player but he has never been a manager, so probably doesn’t truly understand what you are up against in terms of planning forward that way,” Rodgers told reporters.

“We were certainly far from throwing it away. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in every game since the Spanish Super Cup final [and didn’t score]. That shows you how hard we defended and how hard we worked.

“Right to the very end I think my players put in a performance that showed their passion, their commitment and their quality. That would be my answer. I am not bothered about the criticism.”

Lineker did post a further tweet after the match following Rodgers’ post-match comments explaining his team selection.

Rodgers intimating that many of his players were dropped for being awful at Newcastle rather than being rested. If that’s true, fair enough.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 4, 2014

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