Rodgers hails 'outstanding' Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey, pictured, was lauded by Brendan Rodgers for his performance up front

Jonjo Shelvey, pictured, was lauded by Brendan Rodgers for his performance up front

First published in National Sport News © by

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was quick to praise Jonjo Shelvey following his performance in the Reds' 3-2 victory over West Ham at Upton Park.

Much had been made of the fact Liverpool were without an experienced recognised striker in their squad due to Luis Suarez's one-match ban but Rodgers played Shelvey in a more attacking role.

He said: "You see young Jonjo Shelvey at 20 years of age playing the number nine role in a different way - dropping into midfield and combining with the midfield players to make the fourth man, being a threat when he is in around the box, showing great feet and I thought he was outstanding, the kid."

He added: "It was great credit to him because there was a lot of pressure on him because people have been trying to compare him to Luis Suarez but he has been terrific in my time here, he is only 20 and has a big future ahead of him.

"In this country it (the number nine role) is always a very traditional target man, a clear number nine. Give credit to Carlton Cole, I know him from my time at Chelsea, he is a real handful and was outstanding."

Former West Ham defender Glen Johnson opened the scoring before a Mark Noble penalty and a Steven Gerrard own goal gave the home side a half-time lead.

Joe Cole, another ex-West Ham player, levelled the scores before Shelvey claimed the winning goal - although the ball appeared to loop over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen off the foot of team-mate James Collins.

Rodgers also said there was never any panic from within the club when Suarez was booked for the fifth time last weekend, ruling him out of this game.

"For us there was no drama," he said. "My focus when I came in was about the collective. We must share the ball, we must share the goals and we must share the workload - we are not asking anyone to do anything more than anyone else.

"I had great belief in the players that we could score goals and create goals because we have done it all season but we just haven't been clinical enough and had the good fortune at times to wrack up more goals. But I think you have seen, even without Luis, the quality in the team but equally the fight in the team and that was pleasing."

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