Football

Brendan Rodgers tells Liverpool prodigies to keep working

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned prodigies Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe that only hard work will earn them a first-team opportunity.

Sterling, 18, experienced a meteoric rise from Liverpool reserve to England international last season but has seen his chances limited this season.

17-year-old Ibe has been in around the first team for a while but has only played two games for the Reds so far.

According to the Liverpool Echo, big things are expected from the duo but Rodgers insists that the teenagers are far from finished articles and need to keep working hard if they want to continue their progress.

"They understand that if you are focused and playing well then you will play,” said the Liverpool manager.

"But in the modern game it can be difficult for young players to break through.

"Over the last year or so they have seen that they are going to get an opportunity and if they can devote their life, be professional and take the opportunities when they come then they are going to have an excellent chance."

Rodgers also asked for patience insisting the club does not want to rush their talent into first-team action too soon. 

He told the Liverpool Echo: "Jordon is only 17 years of age and even Raheem is only 18. We can't forget that.

"We don't want to rush these young players' development even though we want young players to come through and we want to put them in the first team. We've done that over the course of the last year or so.

"But it is also important to understand that it comes at different stages for some players.

"Jordon has been in and around the first team for most of the season but there is probably going to come a stage where he needs to go out and play games and feel the pressure.

"But at 17 years of age, he is still developing.

"Look at Raheem's progress and what he's done in the last year or so. He has propelled himself from a youth team and reserve player to an England player.

"But they still have a long way to go in their professional careers and at this stage we're just looking to manage that and make sure we nurture that for the future."

Rodgers' side currently sit second in the Premier League following their defeat at the hands of Arsenal at the weekend. Despite being doubted by many critics in the pre-season the Reds have impressed greatly in the opening few fixtures, and both Sterling and Ibe may find it difficult to break into the team in the current climate. 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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