Rodgers hails strike partnership

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan says there is no chance of the club

changing their name to the Cardiff Dragons.

The Malaysian billionaire has already made the controversial

decision to change the club’s colours from blue to red and has also

installed a new crest.

And, with Cardiff eight points clear at the top of the

Championship, it has been suggested that promotion to the top

flight might spark further rebranding.

Asked in a BBC programme whether a name change to Cardiff

Dragons was possible, Tan said: “When we know the final result of

this season, then we will think what’s the best way to brand

it.

“When we get there we’ll make a decision and, when we make a

decision, we will convey it to everyone.”

However, the prospect of a possible name change caused anger

among Cardiff fans and Tan has now issued a statement saying it is

not a possibility after all.

“I can assure all supporters that we will not be changing our

name from Cardiff City Football Club, a club I am very proud to be

a part of,” he said.

“Our name is our identity and remains at our core. I would not

want any of our supporters to be concerned that this change would

be made, hoping that this personal commitment from myself removes

any fears.

“I believe the colour change is positive and will bring good

tidings to Cardiff City Football Club. At this point of time, no

decision has been made to change the club crest for the next

season.

“For the present day, all I would ask is that we all join

together, continuing your excellent support at what is a critical

juncture in our season.

“Our collective aim is to back (manager) Malky Mackay and his

team as they work hard to bring us all success. Working together we

can achieve great things in the name of Cardiff City Football

Club.”

Suarez has scored 25 goals this season, 18 of which have come in

the league, to put him one behind of Manchester United’s Robin van

Persie and three ahead of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale – fellow

contenders for this season’s star man award.

The Uruguay forward is two away from becoming the first

Liverpool player to score 20 league goals in a campaign since

Fernando Torres five seasons ago.

Suarez will start his 90th match for the Reds against Wigan on

Saturday and Rodgers believes the player’s recent record compares

to the best.

In his first 45 games Suarez managed just 16 goals, but has

scored 30 in his last 44 appearances, which debunks the claim the

striker is not prolific enough.

Asked who he would pick as player of the year, Rodgers, like

Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva, was quick to name Suarez.

“I couldn’t look much further than Luis Suarez,” he said.

“He has been phenomenal – that is not just an opinion as his

manager.

“If I look across the board this is a guy who had to play alone

up front because he was the only striker we had for nearly six

months and never missed a day’s training and played every minute of

every game.

“His performances have spoken for themselves. There’s many great

players in this league but for me he has been absolutely

outstanding.”

The goalscoring burden on Suarez has been eased by last month’s

?12million signing of Sturridge, who should he score at the weekend

will reach five Premier League goals in six matches.

Rodgers thinks the strike duo’s partnership, which has blossomed

incredibly quickly, will make a difference to Liverpool in the

final three months of the campaign.

“They are two top players but they have got different qualities

and different strengths,” he added.

“You have seen Luis’ all season – his cleverness and his

movement and his intensity in his game.

“When I came in everyone was talking about his finishing, how

many chances he missed and whatnot but you look at his conversion

rate this year, his chances and the goals he has put away, he has

been brilliant.

“He is a terrific focal point for the team.

“Daniel is a different type. He is hungry for goals, wants to

play on the shoulder and his movement is really good.

“People will associate him with pace and power and running

ability and shooing ability but when both of them play in and

around each other, they find space really well.

“With Daniel, you have got that possibility to play in behind

and penetrate and go over the top and in between and when he is

away he is very hard to catch because he is so fast.

“They are a real potent threat so that partnership and that

cohesion is growing all the time and it is pleasing to see.”

With the likes of Chelsea faltering and Arsenal and Everton

failing to put down a definitive marker for the final Champions

League qualification place, there is still an outside possibility a

late run could lift the Reds into contention.

Rodgers, however, knows the pitfalls of talking up a top-four

challenge.

“We have got 11 games to go and our only focus is on ourselves –

we just look at our next game,” he said.

“Especially how the season has gone for us: we have been

brilliant at times and inconsistent at others.

“If we can come up with that consistency over these closing

months it will provide a springboard for next season.

“Finish this season as strong as we possibly can, as high as we

can, and then we’ll be in a much better place come the summer to

really push on.”