Henry looking for stability

20 July 2012 05:17

Liverpool have been handed a Europa League third qualifying round clash with either Macedonian side FK Renova or FC Gomel of Belarus for their first competitive match under Brendan Rodgers, who will be under no pressure this term to get the team into the Champions League according to Reds principal owner John Henry.

This time last year Henry, as lead figure for owners Fenway Sports Group, told former manager Kenny Dalglish the requirement was a top-four finish, but no such demands are being put on Rodgers - or at least, not at this early stage of his reign.

"We don't want to put any pressure on Brendan by saying you have got to make the Champions League this year," said Henry, who has seen the Liverpool squad close up this week as they have been in Boston preparing for their pre-season tour of the United States.

He added: "Of course he wants to make the Champions League, we all do and so does every team in the Premier League. I thought it was realistic last season but we were so far off that pace. At this point we're just trying to get things stabilised - that should be one of our goals.''

The Merseysiders - in the Europa League by virtue of winning last season's Carling Cup - were seeded in Group Two and could have been paired with Dundee United for matches that are set to be played on August 2 and 9.

However, following Friday's draw, they await the winners of the second qualifying round tie between Gomel and Renova, which the Belarusians lead 2-0 going into their home second leg next Thursday.

Rodgers, the former Swansea boss appointed as Liverpool manager this summer following Dalglish's sacking, is the third manager since FSG, owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise, took over in October 2010.

Referring to the new man at the helm, Henry said: "Brendan has a very structured approach and he plays the kind of football that we think Liverpool fans will love to see. You can see why he was appointed. He's an inspirational figure. He's very charismatic, he's smart, he knows what he wants to accomplish and he's determined to accomplish it."

Rodgers is beginning to remodel his squad and while he insists there is no chance of England international Andy Carroll leaving Liverpool on loan, he admits the Reds will consider any offers they receive for the striker they paid Newcastle £35million for in 2011.

"There is talk of him going on loan, but there is absolutely no way I would be looking to loan a player like that, especially after the investment the club have paid," Rodgers said. "But his condition will be the same as every player. If an offer comes in for any player at the club we would either look at it, or dismiss it, and Andy's no different to that."

Source: PA