Rodgers hails Enrique work ethic

28 November 2012 08:40

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes defender Jose Enrique has provided an example of what can be achieved through hard work and commitment.

The Spaniard's future at Anfield appeared to be in doubt at the start of the season after failing to hold down a first-team place. However, he has started the past five Premier League matches, scored his first Reds goal 10 days ago and would have doubled his tally at Swansea on Sunday had it not been for a debatable offside flag.

"I think he has been outstanding," said Rodgers, who has played the 25-year-old in a more advanced role recently in the hope it will add more goals to midfield.

"It is a great credit to him because he and I spoke earlier in the season about trying to improve his game.

"Further up the field he is a real threat going forward with his pace and power and you can see in the last three games how determined he is to get a goal.

"He has been a real plus for us and it is great to see because he has worked hard and it hasn't been easy for him.

"I am delighted for him because he is a good guy and wants to do well for this club.

"Every player will have a preferred position but I think he has the qualities to play the (midfield) role as he is not a defensive left-back.

"He is comfortable in the position, which is important, and it gives us a great thrust at the top end of the field." Striker Luis Suarez's league-leading 10 goals has been pivotal to Liverpool's improvement but the goals from midfield Rodgers was hoping for to supplement that have not materialised. Just five league goals - which includes Enrique's strike against Wigan - have been scored by midfielders and Rodgers knows it is an issue which must be addressed.

"I have always stressed it is the team not just the midfield players, we want everyone to contribute and it is not for want of trying," he added.

"We are just looking to improve how clinical we can be in those areas.

"I am not going to dwell on as it is highlighted often enough, we just have to keep working to find a solution.

"It is certainly something which is important.

"We have good balance in the team and defensively we have a good structure now the players have adapted to how we work.

"If we push on that bit more and add the finishing touches to some of our great play that will turn some of the draws (seven in 13 matches) into wins for us."

Victory at seventh-placed Tottenham, just four points ahead, tonight would be a major boost.

"It is a big game against a rival as Tottenham have been up in or around that top four for the last few seasons," said the Northern Irishman.

"If you go away to one of your rivals and win that can give you great confidence. "We know we are not too far away and are very close to be arriving in that zone that we want to be.

"You only have to look at the things which have gone against us in terms of disallowed goals and if you take those points alone we would be right up there."

Source: team_talk