Rodgers: Suarez will stay in PL

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed fears striker

Luis Suarez will be forced out of the English game by continuing

criticism.

The Uruguay forward has had to endure plenty since his arrival

from Ajax in January of 2011 and it shows no signs of easing just

yet.

He was banned for eight matches last season after being found

guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra

while the focus this campaign has been on his perceived diving.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge expressed his concern the

25-year-old could walk away from the club because of the hard time

he gets from opposition managers and supporters but Rodgers

rejected that.

“I think he loves playing in English football,” said Rodgers of

Suarez, who only signed a new long-term contract at the start of

the season.

“I speak with Luis regularly and he loves the passion and

excitement of the game over here.

“What he is is a player who is mentally very strong – as you can

see from his time here the amount of stick he has taken.

“It is actually a driver for him. It really motivates him and he

loves being at Liverpool: he loves the city, the club and the

supporters so I can’t see that (being forced out) happening.”

Suarez answered his critics, and more pertinently David Moyes

with a sarcastic dive at the Everton manager’s feet after his

deflected shot brought the opening goal in Sunday’s Merseyside

derby draw.

Rodgers has been impressed by the way the South American has

shouldered the burden of being the club’s only fit senior striker

and insists it is an privilege to coach him.

“I thought he was outstanding (against Everton). He is a breath

of fresh air with his enthusiasm,” added the Northern Irishman.

“He is our only fit senior striker here and he was tireless

against Reading and then we had to play a strong team against Anzi

(in the Europa League).

“People maybe thought the condition of the team and him in

particular would waver but the condition of the group, and

particularly him up front, was amazing.

“He is a wonderful talent who will always provoke comments both

positive and negative but the bottom line is he is a fantastic

player.

“He scores goals and his goals to games ratio this season is

fantastic.

“He is really inspirational for the group because he works hard

every day and he is quality at that top end of the field: he

genuinely is a world-class striker.

“It is a privilege to work with a player of that quality every

day.”

After three tough games Suarez is likely to be given the night

off on Wednesday when Rodgers’ former club Swansea visit in the

Capital One Cup.

Liverpool, the defending champions, came through the last round

with a 2-1 win at West Brom having fielded a team with an average

age of 24 years 10 days, while seven of the 13 players used that

night were under 22.

The Reds boss has admitted league performances are his priority

and so the side he puts out in this competition will be shorn of

first-team stars and Wednesday is no different.

But he intends to pay every respect to the club he left in the

summer, insisting the close relationship he had with Swans chairman

Huw Jenkins remains strong and that actually helped when he went

back to buy midfielder Joe Allen.

“It improved the Allen deal as I was able to speak to Huw and

ask if there was a market for Joe and he came back to me and told

me there was a possibility he could be sold,” he said.

“We became close both professionally and personally there and

our relationship is still strong.

“Leaving there was sad but I knew I was coming to one of the

biggest clubs in the world.

“We are not in contact as much – we would have spoken every day

and had many great football conversations – but there is still that

respect there and an admiration for the work they do.

“I always like to leave on good terms. There is no problem

there.

“But we want to get through and nothing will get in the way of

that.

“No sentiment gets in the way of wanting to progress to the next

round.”