Rodgers ready to spend to reinvigorate Reds

Brendan Rodgers believes his Liverpool side are firmly in the title mix — and expects the club to bring in reinforcements in the transfer window.

Successive defeats knocked the Reds from top of the Premier League at Christmas to fifth at the turn of the year. Rodgers says the Reds are in the shake-up and could be active when the transfer window opens this week.

He added: “We’ve shown in the first 19 games this season that if we get players back, get some help in January with a few more players, we can be in the shake-up here.

“Liverpool was never in the conversation for the last few years. At least now we’re being recognised in terms of what we’re trying to do and our work.

“Hopefully we can add to it and get some depth to the group, because that is something that really helps you in the second part of the season.

“Christmas Day eating our turkey we were top of the league. A few days and games later we’re fifth. I think that’s the way it will go between now and the end of the season. I think it’s brilliant and it makes it really exciting.”

Rodgers has indicated club captain Steven Gerrard could return to action in tomorrow’s home clash with Hull.

Gerrard has not played in the Reds’ last four games after sustaining a hamstring problem in a 4-1 Premier League win over West Ham at Anfield on December 7.

Asked if the England skipper might be fit to play against Hull, Rodgers said: “We will assess that over the next 24 hours.

“Steven has rejoined training so we’ll see how he is for Hull.”

Rodgers also revealed that midfielder Joe Allen, who came off in the second half of Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Chelsea, is set to be sidelined for “a few weeks” with an abductor strain, and that he is awaiting news on how long defender Mamadou Sakho’s hamstring strain is likely to sideline him for following his withdrawal towards the end of the Stamford Bridge contest.

Rodgers said: “Joe will probably be a few weeks and with Sakho we are just awaiting confirmation.

“There are one or two other niggles that we have to assess.”

As well as Gerrard, Rodgers has lost the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Jon Flanagan, Jose Enrique to injury in recent weeks.

Rodgers also feels Reds striker Luis Suarez is an “easy target” for critics.

Following the Merseysiders’ 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, Jose Mourinho accused Suarez of performing “an acrobatic swimming pool jump” during the Premier League contest in an unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty, referring to the moment when the Uruguay international went down in the hosts’ box having been challenged by Samuel Eto’o.

Rodgers defended his player retorting: “It certainly wasn’t that. Anyone watching the game would see it wasn’t that. Luis is an easy target. It was a valid claim for a penalty against a player who wasn’t even making an effort for the football. I certainly wouldn’t say it was an acrobatic dive.”

Meanwhile Hull have an unusual New Year’s gift on offer this year — some of Tom Huddlestone’s hair.

The clump of Huddlestone’s hair was cut from the midfielder’s locks during his goal celebration in the 6-0 win against Fulham, marking his first goal since April 2011.

The hair is up for auction on the Tigers’ official eBay site with proceeds set to be donated to Huddlestone’s chosen charity, Cancer Research UK. “Bids in excess of €600 have already been received with the auction set to continue in the coming days,” a club statement said.

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