Soccer-Rodgers says working with Suarez will stay with him for life


LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Liverpool's Luis Suarez added the Premier League Player of the Month award to his list of credits on Friday with manager Brendan Rodgers saying working with the Uruguayan goal machine would "stay with me for a lifetime".

Suarez struck 10 goals in December, including four in a 5-1 win over Norwich City, as Liverpool topped the Christmas table for the first time since 2008.

His form over the next couple of months will determine whether Rodgers' side remain credible title contenders.

Rodgers is never shy of praising the often controversial striker who has scored 20 Premier League goals in 15 appearances so far this season and was at it again as he prepared his team for a trip to Stoke City on Sunday.

"The experience of working with Luis will stay with me for a lifetime," Rodgers told radio station TalkSport.

"Luis is an old school striker in that he's never injured, he's never in the treatment room and he loves to train.

"After a game we do a first day recovery and then a second day recovery which is more active. He just wants to train on that day. He needs to be at it all the time.

"I have to hold him back."

Suarez began the season still serving a 10-match ban after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic last season.

He also expressed a desire to leave Anfield in the summer with Arsenal trying to lure him away, but since returning to action Hodgson says Suarez has been "150 percent committed".

"What's been brilliant this season has been maturity of the man. There were issues last summer but from the moment he decided to stay - when he saw how the club is evolving - he has been 150 percent committed," Rodgers said.

"It's a sheer pleasure to work with someone with that desire and will to win. His maturity on the field is there for all to see and his performances speak for themselves."

Liverpool have slipped to fourth in the table after recent defeats at Manchester City and Chelsea but with Steven Gerrard back from injury and striker Daniel Sturridge nearing a return, Rodgers believes his side can come again.

"We only had about 15 players at one point, but thankfully over this last week or so, we're starting to get one or two back and they are very important players for us," he said.

"We've got all the so-called 'top teams' to play now at Anfield, after a really difficult draw in the first part of the season, where we played them all away.

"We're on track, but when you're fourth, you always want to be third, or second and ultimately first." (Reporting by Martyn Herman)

What to Read Next