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GUARDIAN – Brendan Rodgers demands mental strength for Manchester City clash

• Players only arrived back from Turkey at 4am on Friday• Manager calls for strong minds to keep top-four push on track• Rodgers rues lack of cutting edge in Besiktas lossOne route into the Champions League closed on Liverpool in Istanbul and Brendan Rodgers believes his players face a psychological challenge to enhance their prospects of qualifying through the Premier League against Manchester City .It was the Liverpool manager who claimed Manuel Pellegrini’s team have a “crucial” advantage in the noon kick-off at Anfield owing to the physical toll of Thursday’s Europa League tie against Besiktas. And that admission came before extra-time and penalties at the Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul traffic jams plus a delayed flight meant Rodgers’ squad touched down at John Lennon Airport only at 4.19am . “I think that of course it is an advantage,” Pellegrini concurred : “But not a decisive one because I always think the decisive thing is the performance on the day of the game.” Continue reading…

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