‘I let Klopp move into my house!’ – Rodgers not bitter over Liverpool exit

The current Leicester boss left Anfield in October 2015, with the sale of Luis Suarez contributing significantly to his downfall on Merseyside

Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bitterness on his part at how his reign at Liverpool ended, with the current Leicester boss prepared to let successor Jurgen Klopp live in his house.

The Northern Irishman carried the Reds agonisingly close to the Premier League title in 2013-14, but was relieved of his managerial duties in October 2015.

Klopp, who has guided Liverpool to Champions League glory and put them back in contention for a domestic crown, picked up the baton dropped by Rodgers.

His predecessor has no hard feelings when it comes to his time on Merseyside and, ahead of a return to Anfield with Leicester on Saturday, insists he is happy to see the Reds doing well.

Rodgers told the Daily Telegraph: “When I received a phone call from Mike [Gordon, Fenway Sports Group president] on the way home from the Everton game, I understood where it was at. From their perspective, maybe I could have gone in the summer but they wanted to give me the chance.

“It was a tough start to that season and they felt it needed a change. Look, it worked out brilliantly for them. When Liverpool won the Champions League I sent them all a message congratulating them and Jurgen.

“I am the type of person who is happy for the club and especially happy for players like Jordan [Henderson] and James Milner – players I worked with and had a strong relationship with. I was so happy for Jordan when he lifted the Champions League trophy because I know how much he has developed and worked for it.

“I was never going to be bitter. That’s why I let Jurgen move into my house! I had a good relationship with Ray Haughan – the player liaison officer – and he told me Jurgen was struggling to find somewhere to live so I said, ‘Listen, I am moving to London for a bit and will not be there now, so Jurgen could move in’. 

“I understand what it is like as a manager moving to a new place, wanting your family to be settled and happy. You want them in a good place. He took the house and has been there ever since.

“I wanted him to succeed and the club to succeed. He has great stature, a great presence, but he is very much with the players. You could see that at Dortmund. He brings that emotion into the team and they respond. 

“That kind of connection with your players is a big factor in modern management. Society has changed. Players are treated differently to how when you were growing up as a player. It is a key. You can be a great coach but if you do not have the connection with the players… you need to find that emotional hook so that players will go that extra mile for you and sustain it.”

Rodgers believes the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona shortly after the Uruguayan carried Liverpool close to a title triumph contributed significantly to his downfall, with the Reds forced into finding a different way of playing.

He added: “We went so close and ideally you want to build on that but then you lose a world-class player. We lost our identity.

“It went a bit pragmatic to get results and I was not watching a team playing in the way I believe in because we could not press high from the front. That was not the journey I wanted to be on. Safe is death, to me.

“But you know that third season is arguably one of my best coaching years in terms of experience. We made Raheem [Sterling] the central striker and went on a great run, so from a coaching perspective it was good to see we could show aggression and find a way.”

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