Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has played down comments from his Chelsea counterpart Rafael Benitez in which the former Reds boss spoke of his certainty that he will return to the Anfield dugout one day, Sky
Benitez said earlier in the week that he was certain he would return to Merseyside as Liverpool manager in the future but Rodgers insists he is not put out by the Spaniard’s words, saying it is understandable that Benitez would want another crack at managing Liverpool.
“Rafa had a successful time here in the period he was here and I think he will join a list of probably many managers throughout the world who would love to manage a great club – especially having been here before,” Rodgers said.
The former Swansea City boss pointed out however that if the Liverpool hierarchy were as keen on a Benitez return as Benitez appears to be, they could have explored that option last summer, when Rodgers was hired and Benitez was out of work, but chose not to.
Rodgers said: “Obviously that opportunity was there in the summer if the owners wanted to go down that route as Rafa was unemployed and not working. But they felt it best to go in a different direction and develop the club in a different way.”
Denying that Benitez’s comments hampered his own work, Rodgers added he was focused on pushing the team further up the Premier League table. Liverpool are currently seventh, three points behind Merseyside rivals Everton.
Benitez’s highest finish as Liverpool manager was second, in 2008/09, while he also won the Champions League in 2005, his first season at the club, and reached a second final a few years later. Liverpool also claimed the 2006 FA Cup under Benitez’s direction.
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