Rodgers planning for a busy summer

Rodgers planning for a busy summer

Brendan Rodgers plans another summer of rebuilding at Liverpool with Steven Gerrard’s departure imminent and the absence of Champions League football next term all but mathematically confirmed.

Gerrard scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at champions Chelsea which means the Reds will almost certainly finish outside the Premier League’s top four this season.

Liverpool sit six points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with two games to play and a vastly inferior goal difference.

“We sit in fifth place and that’s probably where we’re at,” Rodgers said.

“If we want to make the next steps, we need to find some acquisitions in the summer to help us do that.

“The players that I’ve worked with have been brilliant, given everything. Like (at Chelsea), we’ve been very unfortunate.”

Rodgers bemoaned a slow start which saw John Terry head the hosts into a fifth-minute lead.

The Reds boss felt his side should have had a numerical advantage after Cesc Fabregas’ first-minute foul on Raheem Sterling and believed the visitors should have won.

“Fabregas should’ve been sent off – out of control, diving, stretching,” Rodgers said.

“It was a bad challenge and he deserved a red card.”

Fabregas’ tackle came after Liverpool gave Chelsea a guard of honour on to the field in recognition of their title success.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said he did not see the challenge and declined to comment further, citing the furore which followed Diego Costa’s apparent stamp and subsequent suspension following the Blues’ Capital One Cup semi-final win over the same opposition in January.

Mourinho said: “I don’t think we need now another week of theatre like we had after the Capital Cup game.”

The Blues last season ended Liverpool’s hopes of a first championship in 24 years and Gerrard has not been allowed to forget it after his slip let Demba Ba in to score.

Playing here for the final time before his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy, the former England captain was the subject of plenty of songs on Sunday, with his goal a riposte before he was was replaced 11 minutes from time.

Mourinho, who three times tried to sign Gerrard, led the applause, which swiftly drowned out the boos from the home faithful.

Gerrard told Sky Sports: “The Chelsea fans showed respect for a couple of seconds, but slaughtered me all game. It’s nice of them to turn up for once.”

Mourinho, who criticised his own supporters earlier this season, said: “The negative song only shows respect. To get that in an away stadium I think is a fantastic way for him to feel that probably every club, every stadium in this country, respects him a lot.”

Rodgers added: “He’s a player that makes the big contributions when needed. I’ve said before he’s irreplaceable but we need to find the solutions, one way or the other.”

While Rodgers aims for another summer overhaul after trying to replace Luis Suarez in 2014, Mourinho wishes to keep his squad together, including goalkeeper Petr Cech, who was absent with a minor calf problem having been slated to start.

“I still believe next season he (Cech) is with us,” added Mourinho, who said Kurt Zouma picked up a knee injury.

“Fundamental is to keep my players and to try to get the best out of them.

“I have a feeling Oscar next year can have the same evolution (Eden) Hazard had this season.”

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