Date: 18th September 2014 at 5:23pm
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Brendan Rodgers has given his backing to Philippe Coutinho, following questions over the Brazilian’s early season form.

The 22-year-old has been substituted in three of his four matches this season – whilst he remained an unused substitute for the 3-0 win at Tottenham.

He struggled to make any sort of impact in the Champions League on Tuesday, and is facing a battle to be picked for the weekend’s clash with West Ham at Upton Park.

But Rodgers has given his backing to the Reds number 10, saying he has ‘absolutely no doubts’ he will back to his best soon enough.

“He’s a brilliant young player, a fantastic young player,” Rodgers told his pre-West Ham press conference at Melwood.

“I had planned to have him out of the game against Aston Villa because he’d had a lot of travelling in the international week – and if we didn’t have so many injuries, he would have been given a rest on the side and then playing in the Champions League game.

“We couldn’t afford to do that. We had to play him, but it was great for him and his experience getting back into the Brazilian squad.

“I’ve got no qualms about him; he’s a big, big talent. He has lit up the Premier League since he came to the club. He’s going to have some games where he won’t be at his best, but he always gives his best and that’s all I ever ask of the players.

“The kid is a great boy who wants to do well. He’s very conscious that I have absolutely no doubts about him.”

Rodgers was also keen to point out that Coutinho was outstanding against many of the top teams last season – with goals and assists coming in games against Everton, Manchester City (twice each), Arsenal and Tottenham.