Wembley Stadium should be saved for FA Cup final, says Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool are just one game away from playing at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup -- but their manager Brendan Rodgers rather wishes they were not.

Reuters| Last Updated: Mar 06, 2015, 23:23 PM IST
Wembley Stadium should be saved for FA Cup final, says Brendan Rodgers

London: Liverpool are just one game away from playing at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup -- but their manager Brendan Rodgers rather wishes they were not.

If Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers in their quarter-final on Sunday, they will travel to London to play the semi-final at English football`s most famous stadium but Rodgers believes only the final should be at the home of the national game.

"In many ways I wish semi-finals weren`t at Wembley as I think it takes something away from it. Wembley should be just for the final," said Rodgers at a news conference on Friday.

It is a sentiment which will gain much sympathy from English football fans who believe that the decision to hold the Cup semis at Wembley every year since 2008 after the new stadium was opened has only served to remove some of the gloss from the old showpiece feel of the final.

Still, even if he would prefer the semi-final to be held elsewhere, Rodgers is confident that his thriving side are playing well enough not just to turn over second tier side Blackburn at Anfield but to go on to earn him his first trophy as Liverpool boss.

"The first year here was about integration, the second year objective was to get in the Champions League, and this season I felt we had depth to challenge for trophies," said Rodgers, who has overseen a dramatic Liverpool surge since the New Year.

"If we can arrive in the top four and win a trophy that will be success for us this season."

Rodgers said the fitness of captain Steven Gerrard, who has been sidelined with a hamstring problem, would be assessed before Sunday`s tie.

If he does not play, the in-form Jordan Henderson will continue with the captain`s armband, but Rodgers was keen to put a halt to any comparisons between the pair.

"There is no comparison," said Rodgers. "People should stop trying to put pressure on a young player like Jordan.

"Just because Jordan takes corners doesn`t mean he`s the next Steven Gerrard. Just because he shoots from outside box, doesn`t mean he`s the next Steven Gerrard."