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'Liverpool's killer instinct revitalised by Rodgers'

February 20, 2014 08:49 IST

'Liverpool's killer instinct revitalised by Rodgers'

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Manu Shankar

English footballer Glen Johnson reflects on Liverpool’s season thus far, his comeback from injury and England’s World Cup prospects in an interview with Manu Shankar.

One of few players with defensive and attacking abilities, he was the first signing of Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea era, for £6 million in 2003.

Although he had a decent run with the Blues, Glen Johnson made a name for himself with Portsmouth, who bought him for £4 million in 2007. His brilliance at Pompey’s made the then Liverpool manager, Rafa Benitez, sit up and take notice.

Convinced, he bought him for a whopping £17 million.

Benitez was looking for full-backs with attacking ability, and Johnson -- strong on both feet, with excellent pace, strength and stamina, and the ability to beat a man and cross effectively – fit the bill perfectly and immediately earned a regular place in the Merseysiders' team.

An ankle injury early this season, however, forced him to sit out of few Liverpool’s matches, casting doubts over his World Cup chances this summer.

In an e-mail interview with Manu Shankar, the 29-year-old defender talks about Liverpool’s season thus far, his comeback following injury and England’s World Cup prospects.


Image: Glen Johnson
Photographs: Nigel Roddis/Reuters

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'We want to stay in the top four'

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Manu Shankar

This season has been good so far for Liverpool. How would you sum it up?

It is going in the right direction. We tried to hit the top four at the start, which is where we are sitting at the moment. So, we want to stay in the top four.

Considering the start Liverpool got, are you disappointed with No 4 spot?

No, if we finish above that then it’s great; but fourth is what we are aiming for.


Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Tags: Liverpool

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Recuperating well from injuries

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Manu Shankar

Your injury must have been a bummer, not just from Liverpool’s perspective but also England’s point of view?

Every injury is disappointing but, thankfully, it is nothing serious. I’ve been playing with two or three injuries for the last six weeks and they are all easing off and I’m doing well.

What do you think of England’s chances in the World Cup?

I’ve not thought about it too much yet. We’ve got plenty of football from now until the end of the season. So, at the moment, we are concentrating on Liverpool. We’ll start thinking about the World Cup in May.

You worked with Roy Hodgson during your Liverpool days. Now he is the England team manager. Does it help to go in with the same ideology?

It doesn’t make much difference. International football is different; you can’t do what you want to do in club football at the international level.


Image: Glen Johnson and Luis Suarez
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Killer instinct

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Manu Shankar

Brendan Rogers has revitalised Liverpool this season. Do you agree?

Yes, I agree. Brendan is setting his ways across the team and bringing in his mentality. Everything is going in the right direction.

Is there anything you did differently compared to last season?

You can see our killer instinct. When teams are there for the taking we’re jumping on them, getting the goals and seeing the game out.


Image: Brendan Rogers
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Suarez and Sturridge have got most goals between them

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Manu Shankar

The Suarez-Sturridge partnership is phenomenal this season. Would you rate them as the best in Premier League?

Yes, at the moment they’ve [Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge] have got the most goals between them this season.

Still reckon Liverpool is in with a shot at the title?

At the moment we are in fourth [place]. The more points we can pick up along the way will help us answer that question in, maybe, two months’ time

Where does Liverpool need to improve from here on?

Everyone and every team can always improve, no matter where you are in the league. We’ll continue to work hard to pick up even more points.


Image: Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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