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Liverpool v Wigan - LIVE

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17 Nov 2012 14:58:12

Liverpool v Wigan - LIVE

Liverpool V Wigan - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Rodgers plays down Martinez factor

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not feel he has to prove the club got the right man when Wigan's Roberto Martinez arrives at Anfield on Saturday.

The Spaniard was in the running to take over from the sacked Kenny Dalglish and cut short a family holiday to meet Reds principal owner John Henry in Florida over the summer.

Martinez still maintains he was offered the job and turned it down - Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre insists Rodgers was their first choice - but that is of little consequence to the current incumbent.

"I have a lot of respect for Roberto," said Rodgers. "He is a guy who has been at the top of the game now for a few years in this country. Our philosophies are along the same lines in terms of how we want to work.

"I don't know if he was close to getting it or not but it is a game that is purely about us getting the points. Maybe (it is not) for other people but for myself there is no addition to the game other than that we are in a good moment.

"We want to turn draws into wins because we are showing our character and resilience at the moment. The players are bleeding the tank dry every week for me, pushing everything into the game, and I just hope we can get the rewards for that and get the wins."

Goalkeeper Jose Reina is set to return after a five-week injury absence.

The Spain international has recovered from a hamstring injury and is likely to replace Brad Jones, who has deputised in the last four league matches.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is fit after a thigh problem forced him out of the England squad this week while centre-backs Daniel Agger (groin) and Martin Skrtel (illness) are expected to be included.

Latics boss Martinez is wary of his side placing too much emphasis on the threat of Luis Suarez.

Martinez has no doubt the Uruguay international, who has 11 goals this season, is "vital" for Liverpool, but he is also keen to stress that as far as he is concerned, the Merseysiders are in no way a one-man team.

"Luis Suarez is vital at the moment, but I think it would be wrong to give him special treatment because then there are other players around him who can really take advantage of it," Martinez said.

"You are not talking about a one-player team - that would be dangerous and wrong. It is true that in front of goal at the moment, Suarez is the most influential player in that squad and the stats reflect that.

"But it would be wrong to allow other players to have extra space because the quality is all over the pitch. The quality of this side is such that they are ready to go to fight for a Champions League spot, as they will do with time."


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