Brendan Rodgers backs maligned signing to establish himself as a Liverpool regular after indifferent debut season

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes renewed confidence from Dejan Lovren will see the Croatian establish himself at the heart of defence this season.The £20million signing from Southampton last summer was supposed to provide the leadership Rodgers thought his side had been lacking since the retirement of veteran Jamie Carragher, but things quickly went downhill for the new arrival.Some shaky performances resulted in him being dropped in November and although he made fleeting appearances in the rest of the campaign he looked well short of providing what was required of him.This summer Lovren has been given plenty of pitch time in pre-season to establish a partnership with Martin Skrtel, the club’s senior centre-back, and the pair was partly responsible for the clean sheet kept in last weekend’s win at Stoke.“I thought he was very good last week and that is confidence. I always felt in his second season he will be a better player,” said Rodgers.“It is such a huge move to come here and it is only when you are in you realise the expectation.“It was about trying to find that balance in pre-season. We have excellent central defenders in [Mamadou] Sakho and Kolo [Toure] but it is about finding that confidence in a partnership and I thought they were excellent.“Dejan in particular was aggressive, good in the air, his reading of the game was good and his passing was simple but effective.“I think he has gained confidence over pre-season and I hope that will be maintained.” Dejan Lovren 1last_img

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