Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says it's time to focus away from Luis Suarez
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists it is time to concentrate on his other players and not Luis Suarez.
Last Updated: 15/08/13 1:19pm
This summer has been dominated by speculation about the Uruguay international's future, with Arsenal having two bids rejected and the player revealing his desire to leave.
The 26-year-old has been forced to train alone until he apologised for his comments and is due back to the club on Friday after scoring a goal in his country's 4-2 friendly win over Japan in Rifu on Wednesday.
But with Suarez suspended for the first six matches of the new season as his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April is carried over, his manager said: "What I want to concentrate on is the players that are available for this weekend.
"I won't be speaking any more about Luis Suarez until he's available because the players have been working so hard, focusing and concentrating to prepare for this game. For me and Luis it's very simple.
"There's been so much written about him over the last few months and there's been a standpoint at the club and that hasn't changed. Purely out of respect for the players I only want to speak about them. I don't want to answer any more questions on Luis Suarez.
"There's nothing to be said that hasn't been said and I'm sure people are fed up listening to it to be honest. My only concentration is on those players that have been working so hard after a tough pre-season."
Ahead of their Premier League opener at home to Stoke on Saturday, Reds fans will be desperate to see their team push their rivals for the top spots in the new campaign but Rodgers said that the European stage is top priority.
"The measure is always the Champions League for a club like Liverpool," he added. "But I believe we can have a real push this year.
"It's going to be tough and going to be even tougher because other clubs already in there and have been there for a number of years have reinforced. It's a tough ask but I believe with the mentality in our group and our work and focus we'll have a good chance."
Regarding the prospect of adding to the squad in the transfer window, Rodgers said: "There have been a number of players we've been linked with but nothing is imminent."