Rodgers wary of Chelsea quality

14 February 2009 09:50
Rodgers, 36, was Jose Mourinho's first appointment as Chelsea boss and spent four years as reserve-team manager at Stamford Bridge before being handed the opportunity to replace Adrian Boothroyd at Vicarage Road last November.

The Hornets have won just five games since then but come up against a Chelsea side this afternoon who are in a slump of their own.

Monday's sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari and the subsequent appointment of Guus Hiddink came after the Blues slipped seven points adrift of leaders Manchester United in the Premier League.

But Rodgers dismisses claims that the off-field events will help his side come kick-off.

He said: "As soon as the draw was made, myself, the supporters and the players were already looking forward to it, and in the week before it becomes more significant.

"It is a great game for us and another great occasion, but the bottom line for me is we have a chance to get through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Whether it is Chelsea or anyone else, that's my aim.

"Nobody knows better than myself the quality of the players in the club having been there, but I also know my players have terrific qualities as well.

"People have said to me it is a good time to play Chelsea.

"For me it will be a difficult game whenever we play them, but I have confidence in my players that when they perform to the level they can, they can cause any team problems."

Rodgers will be aided as ever by football consultant Frank Lampard Snr who will provide some extra information on his son who should be a key figure in midfield.

And the Northern Irishman is aware players of the class of Lampard Jnr have the ability to lift themselves above any distraction to perform in every game.

He said: "It's one of the significant differences I have noticed in my time working with players, that big players can lift themselves for every game, every occasion, whereas players at a lesser level can only do it for certain games and certain occasions.

"But, as professionals, they have an obligation to work at their game to allow them to produce it more times than not."

Source: Team_Talk

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