Brendan Rodgers excited by 'special' Swansea clash
Last Updated: September 26, 2012 11:51pm
Brendan Rodgers gives the fans the thumbs up after the win over West Brom
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is relishing a Capital One Cup fourth-round clash with former club Swansea - and is determined the holders will not easily relinquish their grip on the trophy.
Rodgers made 11 changes for the third-round trip to West Brom and two goals from on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin secured a 2-1 win after Gabriel Tamas had given Albion an early lead.
The Reds manager made the switch from the Swans in the summer and was finally able to celebrate his first win in domestic football with his new club.
Rodgers said: "The Swansea game will be a special occasion, very much so. It is a wonderful club, a brilliant club, and I was in no rush to leave there.
"I could only leave there to go to another special club. It will be a great night.
"I think in the competition you prefer home games so to play Swansea at Anfield, in front of two wonderful sets of supporters, it will be a great night.
"I said to the players afterwards that the cup is stored at Anfield and I don't want to give it up too easy.
"I want us to fight even thought it is difficult because of our lack of depth in the group.
"The Swansea game will be a special occasion, very much so. It is a wonderful club, a brilliant club, and I was in no rush to leave there.I could only leave there to go to another special club. It will be a great night."
"It is a competition we want to do well in. Of course, we will be really stretched with the Europa League, Premier League between now and January.
"But the nature of this club is we want to win every game and, if we get a few young players out of it (the Capital One Cup), it will really help us moving forward."
Rodgers believes the best is still to come from Sahin, who was on the verge of joining Arsenal before moving to Anfield.
He said: "Nuri is still getting up to speed. It has been difficult for him. He was out for a long time and has come here having missed a big part of pre-season.
"But every day he is getting better. He has got great football arrogance, terrific on the ball.
"With his first goal you see he has got good technique, he is not frightened to shoot and he can arrive in the box and get a goal as he showed with the second one."
Rodgers believes the result at the Hawthorns emphasises how far Liverpool have progressed since losing 3-0 to Albion on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.
He said: "It was a symbolic night as well because it shows how far we are moving as a group from our first day of this season.
"Then we were a bit disjointed and players were not quite understanding my methods.
"But in the last three or four weeks where our tempo and relentless possession has started to come through.
Jerome Sinclair became Liverpool's youngest ever player at 16 years and six days after being introduced as a late substitute, even though the official team sheet identified him as Jordan Sinclair.
Rodgers said: "Congratulations and he got a nice round of applause afterwards in the changing room.
"But now his hard work begins. It is no good being the youngest player and then drifting out of it but thankfully he is a good kid."
Baggies manager Steve Clarke, a former assistant boss at Liverpool, admitted the mistake by keeper Ben Foster for the first goal was crucial.
He said: "We said we'd have a go, we certainly started that way. I think their first goal knocked the stuffing out of us a bit.
"I don't know why, maybe because it was such a soft goal to lose, it knocked us back a bit in the first half.
"It is unusual for Ben. I don't think it's even worth having an in depth discussion about it.
"It is not like Ben, it doesn't happen very often and we move on.
"After 1-1 they were better, they passed it better, we sat off them too much.
"The second half was much better, we got about them, we pressed, made a game of it, and the second half could have gone either way."
Clarke admitted left-back Liam Ridgewell is a doubt for Sunday's derby at Aston Villa after limping out of action during the first half with a calf injury.