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Soccer-Title-chasing Liverpool under 'no pressure', says Rodgers

Reuters

March 28 (Reuters) - Brendan Rodgers rejected Tim Sherwood's claims that Liverpool may struggle with the pressure of being in the title race when Tottenham Hotspur visit Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.

Second-placed Liverpool, who have 68 points from 31 games, have been the surprise packages in the Premier League this season and are a point behind leaders Chelsea.

But Sherwood said Liverpool looked agitated in their victory over Sunderland on Wednesday and has questioned whether they can "hold their nerve" in the title race.

"There was no expectation on us being where we are so there's certainly no pressure on ourselves," Rodgers told a news conference on Friday.

"I thought we showed there was no pressure the other night against Sunderland.

"We showed we can win in a different way and managed the game to see out a result. So there's certainly no pressure."

Sixth-placed Tottenham have struggled for consistency this season and, after making a host of signings, have failed to impress.

"I suspect teams like Tottenham were expecting to challenge for the league this season," continued Rodgers, whose side look set to finish in the top four for the first time since 2008.

"If you spend 100 million pounds ($166 million) you probably expect to challenge."

Steven Gerrard has been in frightening form for Liverpool and, despite operating as holding midfielder, has scored nine goals in his last 13 matches.

The England captain's strike against Sunderland moved him to within one goal of Kenny Dalglish's tally of 172 and Rodgers praised the midfielder's efforts.

"Moving him back into that controlling position has not stopped his goal threat and he can dictate the game from behind," he added.

"To maybe equal someone of Kenny's quality and status just shows you the true quality the guy has." ($1 = 0.6019 British Pounds) (Reporting By Michael Hann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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