Rodgers plans to attack United

Rodgers insists all the pressure will be on the Premier League

champions. The Red Devils will visit south Wales for the first time

in almost 30 years for a game that is arguably the biggest in

Swansea’s 99-year history. The 10th-placed Swans are unbeaten at

home so far this season, and interestingly have never lost when

United have come calling, chalking up six wins and two draws from

their eight meetings, including a 2-0 win at their former Vetch

Field home in 1982. While Rodgers and company have made a promising

start to life in the top flight, the visit of the 19-time league

champions is unquestionably a big step up from hosting and beating

the likes of Bolton and West Brom, but the Northern Irishman

expects his players to rise to the challenge. He said: “Our

approach will not fundamentally change. We want to dominate the

game with the ball, and the statistics show that we have been able

to do that this season. “Obviously you have to retain the caution

of knowing that players at this level have a higher quality,

especially against one of the top European sides with a number of

players that can hurt you. “But Kenny Dalglish said after our draw

at Anfield that they couldn’t string five or six passes together,

which was good for me to hear because we work hard on getting the

ball back quickly. “So our idea of the game will be the same, it

will be creative and offensive but our five clean sheets also show

that we are tactically disciplined. “It’s a fantastic game for us,

in the big games we are the underdog but we arrive in the game with

confidence and belief that if we play to our maximum we can get a

result. “It will be an incredible atmosphere. It’s an early evening

kick-off and it will feel like there are 50,000 in the stadium, so

with that and our qualities we will try to exploit that if they

have an off day.” Second-placed United will start as overwhelming

favourites to claim the spoils come Saturday evening, but Rodgers

says that expectation brings a pressure of its own, one which will

be added to if Manchester City can beat Newcastle and open up an

eight-point lead over their local rivals prior to kick-off in

Swansea. “They won’t have any fear of coming here, that’s why they

are at that level,” he said. “But these are games the big teams

need to win. When you are at a big club you are judged on the big

games, because these are the games you should win. “If you invest

millions of pounds into a team, then these are games they should

win. “That’s why they are judged when they play against the likes

of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, because that’s

the level they are at.” Rodgers also paid a glowing tribute to

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who recently celebrated his 25th

anniversary at Old Trafford. Rodgers had a spell with United as a

trialist early in Ferguson’s reign, and while he did not make the

grade as a player, with a brilliant crop of players such as Ryan

Giggs working their way through the system, he admits the Scot has

been an “inspiration” since he moved into coaching. “He is a

wonderful inspiration to young managers like myself, and he is the

boss of all managers, he has a great hunger and ambition to achieve

and remain at the top,” he said. “You have to admire how he has

managed change over the last 20-odd years. When I was going there

as a 14-year-old in 1987 they were talking about moving from the

Cliff training ground, which had so many big traditions and had

seen so many great players, and yet he managed to do that and

retain the ideals of the club. “The way he has adapted with the

game but retained the class and morals is what has kept the club

successful.” Rodgers will have to decide whether to restore Scott

Sinclair to his side after a tight hamstring relegated him to bench

duty in the goalless draw at Anfield, with Wayne Routledge

impressing in his place. Neil Taylor is available after picking up

an ankle injury but the game comes too soon for centre-half Steven

Caulker to make a return from the knee problem he suffered against

Arsenal in September.