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GUARDIAN – FA Cup semi-final: Liverpool hardened by recent misery, says Brendan Rodgers

• Manager is chasing the first trophy of his Anfield reign• Steven Gerrard available to face Aston Villa at Wembley• Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard sent off after 38 seconds against Manchester UnitedBrendan Rodgers believes the misery of recent near misses in the Premier League and Capital One Cup can help Liverpool “step on” and avoid an unwanted hat-trick in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final with Aston Villa.The Liverpool manager made the first trophy of his Anfield reign a priority from the outset of this season and enters a second semi-final of the campaign 25 points above Tim Sherwood’s team in the Premier League. Having suffered a late collapse in last season’s title race and fallen short against Chelsea in January’s Capital One Cup semi-final, Liverpool know their winning mentality is under scrutiny. But Rodgers is adamant those painful experiences will harden his players to the task of reaching the 30 May final. Continue reading…

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