Brendan Rodgers Tells Liverpool Players to Blame Him If They Slip in Title Race

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2014

Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers takes to the touchline before his team's English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super

Brendan Rodgers wants his Liverpool players to take risks in their final push for the Premier League title, telling the squad he is to blame if the Reds fall short.

The Northern Irish manager has thrust his side to the top of the division with six games remaining, a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the Merseyside club. Rodgers has built an exciting squad that is crammed with proven quality and developing talent, an excellent mix when aiming to ensure future success.

He wants his team to have freedom on the ball and to know they can express themselves even at this most important time of the season, as reported by David Maddock of the Mirror:

If you ask players to play as we do, you have to give them the confidence. That is what you want - the courage to play. We work to deal with pressure, to get on the ball. The players know 100% that if they make a mistake, I will take the blame.

Sang Tan

Liverpool are currently one point clear of Chelsea and four ahead of Manchester City—the latter having two games in hand. Both Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini take their sides to Anfield before the season ends, ensuring their sides have the power to decide their own destiny.

Rodgers appears determined to ensure caution doesn't hamper Liverpool's chances. The Reds have played free-flowing, attacking football this season regardless of their opposition, often exerting the kind of confidence to blitz through top teams.

Memorable results include 5-0 and 4-0 wins over Tottenham, a 4-0 derby defeat of Everton and a 5-1 battering of Arsenal. Liverpool also walloped a lowly Manchester United side 3-0 at Old Trafford but lost both away games to Chelsea and City, 2-1, in December.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Live
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The way they are currently playing, there's no denying Rodgers' team have the momentum to take the prize. Skipper Steven Gerrard believes the side need to keep their dream under wraps for now, especially as it could be blown apart with one poor result, reported by Sky Sports:

 It is important for myself and the players to try to not forget about the dream but try to park it up, as dreams only happen when you get the job done and there are six hard matches still to play.

Whether Liverpool complete the job or not, Rodgers deserves real praise for the progress made during his two seasons in charge, noted by Samuel Luckhurst of the Huffington Post:

With players such as Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge continuing to waltz through opposition defences, Liverpool are more than equipped to topple rivals who have spent vast amounts improving their squads across the past few years.

The pressure is starting to build, as is expectation, as Liverpool's destiny heads toward a thrilling finale.