Friday 20 July 2012

Liverpool owner hails 'inspirational' Rodgers

John W Henry looks forward to bright future under club's new manager

Brendan Rodgers was appointed Liverpool manager earlier on in the summer

Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry has described the club's new manager Brendan Rodgers as "inspirational".

Former Swansea boss Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish in the Anfield hotseat during the summer and has set about a rebuilding of the Liverpool squad.

Henry met up with Rodgers on Liverpool's pre-season tour of north America, with their first friendly match taking place against FC Toronto in Canada on Saturday.

"He's charismatic, smart, knows what he wants to accomplish and is determined to accomplish it"
- John W Henry

"Brendan has a very structured approach and he plays the kind of football that we think Liverpool fans will love to see," Henry told the club's official website.

"You can see why he was appointed. He's an inspirational figure. He's very charismatic, he's smart, he knows what he wants to accomplish and he's determined to accomplish it.

"Everything I have heard so far in the way of feedback about him has been very positive."

Liverpool finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League last season, 37 points behind champions Manchester City and 17 behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth.

But Henry says the Reds do not want to put Rodgers under the immediate pressure of having to qualify for the UEFA Champions League in his first season in charge.

"We don't want to put any pressure on Brendan by saying you have got to make the Champions League this year," added Henry.

"Of course he wants to make the Champions League, we all do and so does every team in the Premier League.

"At this point we're just trying to get things stabilised - that should be one of our goals."

Important clubs

After Liverpool play FC Toronto they then face Italian side Roma at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, who are also owned by Henry and Fenway Sports Group.

"It's heartening to have Liverpool here," said Henry. "I know Liverpool fans worry about the Red Sox and I know Red Sox fans worry about Liverpool but these are two very important clubs.

"We need to be in the US and we know this area well. (Chairman) Tom Werner is a Harvard grad and we knew this would be a great place for the team to train.

"Liverpool is such a global club. Last year we were in Asia, this year we're in North America. We have to try to get out and see the fans.

"This year what we're really concentrating on is to make sure we're ready for the first League game. That's our number one goal. We have a lot of work to do to instil a new system."

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Key Points

  • Owner John W Henry calls Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers 'inspirational'
  • Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish as boss earlier on in the summer
  • Henry says there is no pressure on top-four finish