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Brendan Rodgers on Hull City, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert


Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Hull City will not be an easy game when the two teams face on Saturday.

The Reds were heavily beaten by Real Madrid on Wednesday night and will be looking to get back on winning terms against Steve Bruce's team.

"Steve Bruce has done an excellent job at Hull, they've got real depth to their squad," Rodgers said during Thursday's press conference.

"They come here on the back of a good result. They caused Arsenal problems, but Anfield is a special place for us to play and we go into home games to win with confidence.

"They make it really difficult for opponents and they've got players who can win games."

Asked about Mario Balotelli's future at the club, Rodgers said: "You have to accept that criticism is part of the game, but the boy [Balotelli] is trying very, very hard.

"We'll see how that turns out. As long as he's doing his best, that's all I can ask. But that's the same for every player, not just Mario.

"The Mario Balotelli Show – he's treated no differently, he's treated like every other player. For me as a manager it's been no problem.

"I like players are different. I like that individual personality in people. But as long as they fit in within the parameters of a team, that's fine."

Striker Rickie Lambert is yet to feature regularly in Rodger's side but the manager says the player is aware of his situation.

"Rickie Lambert knew he wasn't going to be a regular starter. He recognises the role he had to come in," said Rodgers.

"He [Lambert] didn't play last night because we needed something different last night – speed and mobility – so we put Raheem up front."

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Brendan Rodgers, Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert