Rodgers salutes Lucas mentality
Brendan Rodgers has been impressed with Lucas Leiva's attitude upon the midfielder's recovery from injury.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 18/08/12 1:53pm
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been impressed with Lucas Leiva's attitude upon the midfielder's recovery from injury.
The Brazilian is back in full swing having overcome the cruciate ligament damage he sustained last year, an injury which coincided with a slump in Liverpool's league form.
Rodgers believes Lucas is on the right wavelength with how he wants the side to play ahead of Liverpool's opening Premier League game away to West Brom on Saturday.
"I've been very impressed - I like his mentality," said Rodgers, who took over from Kenny Dalglish in June.
"He has come back quicker than I thought he would. It is great testament to how hard he has worked.
"He is here to succeed, he is very much driven and he has an inherent belief in how we want to play."
Meanwhile, winger Stewart Downing has made an equally good impression on his new manager.
The former Aston Villa player, an expensive recruit during Dalglish's second reign in charge, struggled to live up to expectations in his debut campaign.
However, Downing scored the first goal of Rodgers' regime, and the Northern Irishman believes the 28-year-old has restored his confidence.
"He has been excellent," said Rodgers. "I have seen him since he was a young player at Middlesbrough and he had periods at Villa where he was excellent.
"Obviously coming to a club like this the first season is always going to be difficult but he is a player who has a lot of talent and he wants to work hard.
"He is technically strong and physically quick and that aggressive part of his game is coming back, which is important.
"Players will be successful if they are confident and I have seen him play confidently in pre-season so long may that continue."