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Rodgers excited by Swansea clash
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is relishing a Capital One Cup fourth-round clash with former club Swansea - and is determined the holders will not easily relinquish their grip on the trophy after they defeated West Brom 2-1.
Rodgers made 11 changes for the third-round trip to the Baggies and two goals from on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin secured a win after Gabriel Tamas had given Albion an early lead. The Reds manager made the switch from the Swans in the summer and was finally able to celebrate his first win in domestic football with his new club.
"The Swansea game will be a special occasion, very much so. It is a wonderful club, a brilliant club, and I was in no rush to leave there," Rodgers said.
"I could only leave there to go to another special club. It will be a great night. I think in the competition you prefer home games so to play Swansea at Anfield, in front of two wonderful sets of supporters, it will be a great night.
"I said to the players afterwards that the cup is stored at Anfield and I don't want to give it up too easy. I want us to fight even thought it is difficult because of our lack of depth in the group.
"It is a competition we want to do well in. Of course, we will be really stretched with the Europa League, Premier League between now and January. But the nature of this club is we want to win every game and, if we get a few young players out of it (the Capital One Cup), it will really help us moving forward."
Baggies manager Steve Clarke, a former assistant boss at Liverpool, admitted the mistake by keeper Ben Foster for the first goal was crucial.
He said: "We said we'd have a go, we certainly started that way. I think their first goal knocked the stuffing out of us a bit. I don't know why, maybe because it was such a soft goal to lose, it knocked us back a bit in the first half.
"It is unusual for Ben. I don't think it's even worth having an in depth discussion about it. It is not like Ben, it doesn't happen very often and we move on.
"After 1-1 they were better, they passed it better, we sat off them too much. The second half was much better, we got about them, we pressed, made a game of it, and the second half could have gone either way."