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Brendan Rodgers on the United game, Sterling's future and Balotelli's fitness level


Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says his players know what the club expects from them.

The Reds were heavily criticised after failing to reach the Last 16 of the Champions League earlier this week as the manager eyes consistency from his side.

"Manchester United have won five in a row and are still getting hammered [by the media]," Rodgers said during Friday's press conference.

"People are paid to be critical but all we can do is concentrate on what's happening inside our football club. As my teams have shown we will get better as the season progresses.

"I am more determined to succeed. You want to be at a club with this kind of expectancy.

"The players know what's expected of them. It's Liverpool Football Club. it's one of the biggest football clubs in the world.

"But we want them to perform consistently, which hasn't been evident this season for whatever reason. But they are a brilliant group. We want them to play without fear".

Rumours linking winger Raheem Sterling to Real Madrid were quickly rubbished by the manager who says the player is happy at Anfield.

"If you look at Raheem's performances that does all his talking," Rodgers said.

"He is very happy here. I know Raheem very well and you can see he is happy here.

"It's up to the club and his representatives to sort out the deal but there's no unhappiness."

Rodgers also confirmed that striker Mario Balotelli will be assessed in the coming days and could feature against the Red Devils on Sunday.

"He's [Mario Balotelli is] only just come back into training so we will see what his fitness is like," the manager added.

"In the last few days he's looked good and we'll give him every chance."

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Brendan Rodgers, Mario Balotelli, Raheem Sterling