Rodgers aims to develop another young striker
Updated: Thursday, 08 Nov 2012 14:02
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hopes young striker Adam Morgan will be able to further his development with Europa League experience and eventually provide support for a lightweight front line.
The 18-year-old had made the trip to Russia to face Anzhi Makhachkala as part of a squad lacking a number of first-team regulars.
With Luis Suarez, the club's only fit senior striker, left at home and Fabio Borini still injured there is an obvious vacancy up front for someone.
Samed Yesil, also 18, struggled in the lone front-man role in the Reds' Capital One Cup defeat to Swansea last week and Morgan may get his chance to show what he can do in Moscow.
But Rodgers is wary of loading too much pressure on the teenager, who was prolific at youth level.
"Adam has done very well," Rodgers said.
"He was with us in pre-season and then he has gone back to working with the under-21s and scoring goals and he has had the opportunity to travel out with us.
"But you have to be careful with young players. No-one inherently believes in young players more than myself but you have to give them time.
"You can destroy them if you put them in at the wrong time if they are not able to cope technically, tactically and mentally.
"So there is a fine balance when to put them in and when not to and obviously young Adam has grown and is improving all the time and we will see how he does over the course of the season."
"You can destroy them if you put them in at the wrong time if they are not able to cope technically, tactically and mentally" - Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers has defended his decision to bring a weakened squad - as he did for their first Europa League fixture against Young Boys - but has challenged his fringe players to prove they are worthy of a place in his first-choice side.
"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League but this is a real opportunity to shine and show you can get into that team," he added.
"We have already seen that this season Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom all started in the cup competitions and they are now regulars playing in the Premier League team.
"Every game is a platform. There is a great motivation there for the players but it is also the opportunity for them to prove they can play and obviously get themselves into that [first] team.
"This is not a secondary team - it is a team in order to a) win the game b) Give players an opportunity to play where they want to play.
"There is certainly no lack of respect for Anzhi. We have a squad here that we feel can get a result and I am confident the players will do that."