Hodgson praises shining lights
Maxi Rodriguez and Lucas have been hailed by boss Roy Hodgson as the symbols of Liverpool's new confidence.
Last Updated: 10/12/10 5:44pm
Maxi Rodriguez and Lucas have been hailed by Roy Hodgson as the symbols of Liverpool's new-found confidence.
Both players appeared to have blossomed in recent weeks after making tentative starts to their respective Liverpool careers.
Lucas is now in his third season at Anfield and for the most part has never been a particular crowd favourite at the club.
Rodriquez was held in equal contempt, but now seems to have a place on the left of midfield that is allowing him to flourish, much to the delight of Hodgson.
"People have not spoken much about Maxi, but he has been a revelation," the Liverpool manager said.
"He is a bit of an unsung hero at the moment, he's not getting a lot of credit, but he's doing a great job at the moment.
"He has taken on board the work we have tried to do and embraced the role I have given him and interpreted it so well both offensively and defensively.
"Suggestions that he goes missing in a game are very harsh and I can produce statistics to prove he doesn't go missing.
"His positional play is very good, his technical ability is very good, and at the moment, with three goals he's right up there."
Rodriguez arrived from Atletico Madrid in January and scored just once between then and May, but he now has three goals in his last seven matches.
Perhaps it is the form of Lucas that has most impressed the fans. In his three years at the club, he had shown hardly any of his potential that had him identified as one of Brazil's bright talents.
Yet towards the end of the last season he showed glimpses and this year his influence has mushroomed.
"Lucas is working hard on the tactical side of his game and working hard on the shape of the team," added Hodgson.
"He is a very intelligent player, and I think it is very much that he is happy in his role. He knows very much what we are looking for from him and feels he can deliver it.
"On top of that he has that extra bit of confidence which being selected for Brazil brings - confidence for footballers is a vital ingredient."