Neil Mellor believes Brendan Rodgers can return Liverpool to the upper echelons of the Premier League – but only if he's given enough time.

In a recent talkSPORT interview, the Melwood Academy graduate - who was forced into an early retirement through injury during the summer - has backed the Northern Irish coach to succeed on Merseyside.

Liverpool have made a slow start to the 2012/13 campaign, collecting just six points from their first seven Premier League games, but the style of play that Rodgers is trying to install at Anfield has prompted plenty of reason for optimism.

"Brendan Rodgers is the right man," Mellor told the Sports Bar. "Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world but, before last season, they went six years without a trophy.

"That's a long time for a club like Liverpool. It will be a few more years before we get back into that top-four but, if the patience is there, then I honestly believe that Brendan Rodgers can create something special."

The 39-year-old coach was appointed by Reds owners Fenway Sports Group after an impressive season with Swansea, with a long-term vision in mind that he can get the club back to where it belongs - challenging both domestically, and in Europe.

"The fans will be patience, the results haven't been great at the start of the season but the performances have been great," added Mellor.

"We've seen the emergence of quite a few young players coming through who wouldn't have played if other people were performing."

Liverpool drew their last game 0-0 at home against Stoke City, and after the international break, return to action when they host Reading at Anfield on October 20.

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