Premier League

Rodgers looking to rehabilitate

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Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:58:00

Brendan Rodgers is focusing on Luis Suarez's rehabilitation while Liverpool decide whether to appeal against his 10-match ban for biting.

Reds officials, who on Thursday night received the written report of the independent disciplinary panel, have until midday to opt to contest a punishment Rodgers described as "severe".

The Northern Irishman, speaking before the report arrived, was also critical of the intent to punish and not re-educate in the panel's ruling.

That is something the club will address with the help of renowned sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters, who has been working one day at the club's Melwood training ground most of the season.

"That is something which remains in confidence and private to ourselves but we will be able to put in place the various needs in order for him to get that help," said Rodgers of how they plan to tackle Suarez's behaviour.

"As managers we look after the technical and physical side but the wellness and mental side of players can sometimes get overlooked.

"It is a very important aspect of modern life and he will have all the help in order to improve and make that behaviour not happen again."

Rodgers denied Suarez had a serious mental flaw in his make-up - even though the player had no explanation for his actions last weekend.

"In modern life, whether you are a footballer, plumber, joiner, bricklayer, work in a warehouse, you are not immune to issues and problems," he added.

"All we are saying is that whatever the behaviour issue is we will do everything we can to support that person and that person is now Luis Suarez.

"I asked Luis what was he thinking and he couldn't answer it.

"This is just an impulsive, inherent thing which came at that moment.

"The world-class talent he is, which has wowed many people with his breathtaking qualities this year, there is that little wire in his brain which sometimes makes him act differently and that is what we are trying to help make sure doesn't happen again."

Rodgers remains confident the latest controversy in Suarez's relatively short spell in England - he has so far been banned for 18 matches in just over 28 months after receiving an eight-game suspension for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra - will not force him out.

"It is arguable he will have a better season (Suarez has scored 30 goals) than he has had this season yet he has still come under scrutiny and received criticism," he added.

"I don't think it (the ban) was right, it was too severe, and that will make you think, there is no question about that.

"I am sure in a couple of days time when he is reflective, because at the minute there is shock and anger, a sense of reality will set in.

"He knows the club and the support he has from the management, the players and fans will always make him think differently.

"But at this moment in time I am sure he will feel really low because of the sanction that has been put on his actions.

"This is a guy who has been genuinely trying to change his behaviour and curb his natural instincts: from a young boy his mentality has all been about winning.

"This year he has done a brilliant job, I've seen that first-hand and that is why I've always been at the forefront of defending him.

"And when he hasn't I have spoken to him and he's understood that.

"I think it is a 'crime' which we all see at the football club as something that shouldn't have happened.

"We knew he would get the punishment - we just never thought it would be so severe it would put him out of playing until October."

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