Capital One Cup: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admits his respect for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho remains high

Brendan Rodgers Liverpool Premier League
Image: Brendan Rodgers: Focus on matches - not managers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists he is not driven by a personal desire to beat opposing managers - only to win football matches.

Rodgers comes up against Jose Mourinho, the man who gave him a youth team job in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

The Liverpool boss has come off second best in his last three matches against his old colleague, but Rodgers believes that was only half the story.

He said: "As a manager the big part of it is the players you have, that is the reality. Of course you can make an impact and make them better but if you come into a group of super-experienced players who have won consistently, you are going to have a better chance to win trophies - it's not rocket science.

"I have never really seen it as a direct match-up against the other manager because there are so many things that can dictate that. For me it is just about winning the game, regardless of the manager."

Rodgers admits he does not have as close a relationship with Mourinho as he once did - but insists his respect for the Portuguese is undimmed.

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"There's probably not as much contact but the respect hasn't left," he said. "The opportunity to work with him during that period of three-and-a-half years was invaluable for me but in some way I hope I helped him as well because there was a lot of communication.

"I have a huge respect for a wonderful man and coach but in time you are so engrossed in your own work you don't communicate as much and ultimately you could be a rival but the respect hasn't dropped."

Despite Chelsea's recent dominance over the Merseysiders, Rodgers stressed that should not be a barrier to overcoming Mourinho's side this time around.

"When you look at Chelsea's history in the last decade, arguably the most successful team over the last 10 years, they have also lost in big competitions and big games. When you lose, those adverse moments are often the making of you.

"We don't like to lose, and it doesn't matter who it is against, (although) in particular we haven't played well against Chelsea. The game last season (at Anfield) was disappointing for obvious reasons but we actually played well in the game and lost.

"Earlier in this season, not just the Chelsea game, there were a number of games we weren't so good in. At this moment in time it is a different feeling, a different aggression with the squad so hopefully we can go into these two games and be positive."

Watch Liverpool v Chelsea live on Tuesday. Coverage from Anfield starts at 7pm, Sky Sports 1 HD.

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