Clarets boss backs old pal Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers (left) gives advice to Raheem Sterling on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers (left) gives advice to Raheem Sterling on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
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Clarets boss Sean Dyche comes up against former Watford colleague Brendan Rodgers on Boxing Day - the man who pipped him to the LMA Manager of the Year award last season.

The Liverpool chief guided the Reds to within a whisker of their first league title since 1990, and got the nod from his peers ahead of Dyche, Crystal Palace’s Tony Pulis and Everton’s Roberto Martinez.

However, Rodgers, who was in charge at Vicarage Road when Dyche was youth team coach, is now coming under pressure following a sticky start to the campaign.

He brings Liverpool to Turf Moor 10th in the table, but Dyche feels there has to be some perspective after the sale of Luis Suarez and injury to Daniel Sturridge: “You take the team so far, so quickly, go right the way, so close, and then lose two key players for different reasons...it’s very difficult, even with the numbers spent - what I do know is they are still a super talented team.”

Patience is in short supply in modern football, and Dyche added: “We know the realities of the job.

“All the question marks come if you’re not winning, and the pats on the back when you are. It’s the way it is.

“There is a flexible time period, but that soon changes if you don’t get wins.People begin to question eventually.

“Brendan has a newish group, trying to mould some high quality players into a team, getting it to click takes time, and it is difficult.

“The demand is instant, you don’t get time.”

Meanwhile, Sam Vokes could come into contention for a place in the squad after another two goals in his fifth development squad run out against Blackpool at Turf Moor on Monday.

Dyche said: “He’s going along really well, we made sure the game was at Turf to give him a real game feel, progressing back up to first team and recreate what it is.

“He’s well on the road to recovery.”

Michael Duff and Matt Taylor are also closing in on a return: “Duffo’s good, he’s still not right though. He’s going along fine.

“He had the niggle then he re-damaged it and that always takes longer.

“And Matty’s going along a bit better, more or less out on the grass running, and once you’re out there, it seems to go quicker.”

Taylor has been out since September after an operation to remove a spur from his ankle, while Duff has missed the last month with a calf injury.