Football - Rodgers hanging fire

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the time to judge his side will not come until the last two months of the season.

PA Sport

After more lows than highs already in the first five months of the campaign the Reds' chances of having a successful season have all-but been written off.

Inconsistency has dogged them throughout, highlighted perfectly by their last four matches which saw them lose at home to Aston Villa - who have since gone into freefall - thrash Fulham, lose woefully at Stoke and cruise to victory at bottom club QPR.

Many have been quick to point out there does not appear to have been much progress made since last season but Rodgers is confidence there is time yet to improve things.

"This is a period of time where you have to keep your head down and work hard and give the players every chance to perform," he told Press Association Sport.

"The second half of the season, and in particular the last 10 games, I believe you are working to because that is the business end when things are decided.

"When you arrive at that period you want to get yourself in a good position to challenge, whether that is in the league or cup competitions.

"We can still achieve our objectives this season so when you can do that going into the second part of the season it gives you real hope."

Rodgers is set to return to the dug-out against Sunderland having missed Sunday's win at Loftus Road with illness which also affected head of performance Glen Driscoll and back-up goalkeeper Brad Jones.

There has been a slight element of quarantine at the club's Melwood training ground in order to prevent the infection spreading to other members of the squad and the club are confident they have been successful in limiting any potential spread.

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