Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool fans have plenty to be positive about as they welcome Real Madrid to Anfield for tonight’s Champions League group B clash.
Rodgers says supporters have told him to wait for tonight’s game as a sign of the enormity of the club he is in charge of, and the Northern Irishman says a game of tonight’s magnitude is a reward for how far the Reds have come under his management.
“The fans will be massive against Madrid,” Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com. “I remember talking to a couple of fans a few weeks back and haven’t forgotten what they said. They told me: ‘Just wait until you see the Real Madrid game’.
“So I’ve bore that in mind ever since and I know it’s going to be a special night for them. It’s a reward for them for their loyalty and the patience that they’ve shown with the team over the last number of years.
“Sometimes it’s just about taking a step back. Last night I had a think about where we were when I came in and then realised that in a couple of nights’ time we would be playing in the Champions League against Real Madrid. We’re joint-fourth in the league and we haven’t been near our form yet. There’s lots to be positive about.”
Rodgers is aware of just what a task his side are facing however, despite the fact Real Madrid will be without Gareth Bale who has not travelled with the squad due to injury.
“You have to be mindful that they are arguably the best attack in world football at the moment, so you can’t go gung-ho, that’s for sure,” said Rodgers. “You have to have a real focused plan of how you deal with their strengths.
“And on the counter-attack they are absolutely clinical. We’ve seen that over the course of the last year or so. So there’s no doubting the focus and the confidence about how we play the game, but there’s no doubt that you have to respect their qualities as well.
“I think people will see and know what we’re capable of. I think we’ve shown that over the course of the last 18 months. We’ve showed it in glimpses, like at Tottenham Hotspur, this year. So it wouldn’t be a surprise for us to go and win and play well, because we’ve been doing it consistently for a while.
“But the confidence that a victory over a team such as Real Madrid can give you would be great. For us it’s important because of the points – we want to qualify from the group stages.”