Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is hoping that introducing his strategy of pressing aggressive football at Anfield will turn the stadium into a fortress for the Reds.
While Rodgers was at Swansea impressing the rest of the Premier League with his entertaining brand of football, Liverpool struggled with a below-par home record, dropping many shocking points en route to a disappointing eighth place finish.
The Northern Irishman was brought to the club to mitigate a mindset that even skipper Steven Gerrard recently described as too defensive for a club of Liverpool’s stature.
Rodgers saw through a challenging pre-season as doubts persisted over the Reds’ abilities but based on last night’s 3-0 destruction of Gomel at home, the manager is convinced that his players can repeat the feat on a consistent basis in the 2012-13 campaign.
“On the record, I would like to say a big thank-you for the welcome I received. Liverpool is a very special football club and each day I get to know that even more. So to walk out into Anfield for my first home game was very special,” Rodgers explained at the Reds’ official website.
He added: “Hopefully we can have many more special nights. The supporters are a big strength of ours. We want to make Anfield a real fortress this season. It was important to put on a performance that would get us off to a good start tonight.
“I thought the players were excellent. Last week we were only four weeks into our pre-season and we had 18 shots against us. You can see the result of our work over the course of the week because Gomel only had one shot on target tonight.”
When asked to elaborate the type of efforts he has put in to revive the club’s Premier League fortunes next season, Rodgers emphasized: “I was very pleased with the pressing, first and foremost. In order for my teams to pass well, it’s important that they press well and two of the opening three goals came from good pressure.
“I was very happy with the structure of the team. I thought the movement and the intelligence and the interchanging of the front four was terrific. And I think our positional game has been getting better day by day.
“We’ve still got a lot to do. There are a lot of improvements still to be made but I thought our performance was very encouraging tonight,” he concluded.