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Neutral view: 'BR has done great job'
Sat, 01 Mar 2014

Southampton fan Chris Ring provides the view from St Mary's, revealing the midfield engine which makes his team tick and offering a positive assessment on Brendan Rodgers' work with Liverpool.


Southampton have beaten Liverpool in the last two meetings between the sides - how did you do it?

Hard work as a team. When we have beaten you in the past couple of games we have hassled and closed down from the first minute, putting your defence under more pressure, which I think is your weak point at the moment. Shaw and Clyne caused your defence problems with their pace and that causes your more attacking players to have to play deeper and be less creative. Everyone in the league knows about the threat of Lallana, Lambert and Rodriguez, but who makes this Southampton team tick? Lallana has been fantastic this season, he has really stepped up and really does pull the strings. However, I think you need to give huge credit to the defensive midfielders Schneiderlin, Wanyama and Cork, who have done a fantastic job just in front of the back four for the majority of the season. It gives us a great foundation to move forward from when they play well. In terms of the success you have enjoyed recently and the pleasing style of football, is this the best Southampton team you have ever seen?

Over the past four seasons we have improved every season, which has been extremely pleasing, so in terms of the recent past I think that has to be the case. This has been highlighted by the quartet of players being picked for the England squad this week; Luke Shaw deserves his call-up, he has been absolutely fantastic. To have four players being recognised is brilliant for the club. The only other team you could compare it to in my lifetime would be when Gordon Strachan was manager and took us to the FA Cup final and into what was the UEFA Cup. But I think this current side has much more quality, as shown by the international call-ups.

What, if anything, gives you faith that you can stop Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge from scoring on Saturday?   Hopefully Lovren will be back fit, he has been a massive player for us this season, so that would be a big boost. But the fact we have managed to do it up at Anfield already this season has to give the players confidence.

If you could add one of the two to your side, who would it be and why?   I would go for Sturridge. I think he would fit our side better, being a quality young English player. What's your favourite memory from Southampton v Liverpool clashes of yesteryear?   For me personally, it would probably be from December 2003 when we beat you up at Anfield - not something that used to happen very often. I was 15 and actually went to the game with my dad, so it was great to be there and it's one I always remember. Give us a neutral's assessment on the job Brendan Rodgers has done with Liverpool during the past two seasons...   I think he's doing a great job; he has built a good attacking side, almost back to the Keegan days of you score three and we'll score four. But I think he needs to sort the defence out, if for nothing else but your blood pressure. You are having a very good season and I think that you will make it into the top four. With having a lot of friends and family who support Liverpool, it will be nice to see those big Champions League nights back at Anfield. What's your prediction for the match?   I think it will be quite high-scoring. If we can keep you quiet early on, I think it would help us a lot. I'll go for a 2-2 draw.