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Reds won't take Cherries lighlty

2014-01-25 09:31
Brendan Rodgers (AFP)

London - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned his players they will need to be more motivated against Bournemouth in the FA Cup than they would be against their Premier League rivals.

Rodgers was unimpressed by Liverpool's narrow victory over League One minnows Oldham in the previous round and he is convinced the Reds could be the victims of an infamous giant-killing if they repeat that sloppy effort against Championship side Bournemouth in the fourth round at the Goldsands Stadium on Saturday.

Liverpool have enjoyed an impressive campaign to date, but Rodgers' players have no excuses for underestimating Eddie Howe's Bournemouth as many of them featured in a humiliating loss at the hands of Oldham at the same stage of the competition 12 months ago.

"Whatever your motivation is for games against Manchester United or Chelsea, I think you have to go five times more in a game like this because they're such tough games," Rodgers said.

"The players are under no illusions that for us to get through we have to be mentally prepared to up the tempo.

"Last year I didn't underestimate Oldham or any opponent, we just had to make the changes to the team and we suffered for it.

"When you're Liverpool and you're playing well I think you're always going to be a scalp as players at that level want to show they can play against you at your level.

"But it's for us to ensure that our mentality is right and that we're willing to do the dirty stuff and the ugly bits in the game and then you look for your quality to come through."

Bournemouth knocked out Manchester United in the FA Cup way back in 1984 and Howe hopes his team can emulate that famous upset.

"We are obviously aware of their strengths and how they play and their main danger men, but it is a game where I want our players to express themselves and give a good account of themselves," Howe said.

Meanwhile, Manchester City face second tier Watford with an unprecedented 'quadruple' of trophies still in their sights.

No team in English football history has won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and European Champions League in the same season, although Manchester United came close in 1999 with a 'treble' that excluded the League Cup.

But City, who this week clinched a place in the League Cup final with a 9-0 aggregate thumping of top-flight rivals West Ham, are just a point behind Premier League leaders Arsenal and through to the last 16 of the Champions League, albeit they face Spanish giants Barcelona in the knockout stages.

They've already scored more than 100 goals in all competitions this season, but boss Manuel Pellegrini has warned his players not to rest on their laurels.

"I'm very proud of the team that we are still in four competitions," he said.

"It's very important to continue in the FA Cup, so we must win against Watford on Saturday.

"We'll continue with the same winning and ambitious mentality."

Watford manager Beppe Sannino may be Italian but he knows all about the 'magic of the Cup' that is associated with English football's premier knockout tournament.

"In Italy it (an upset) could never happen. It's just impossible. The spirit of English football is all there, in the FA Cup. It is very difficult for the small clubs to win, but they always have a chance."

Chelsea face Stoke in all-Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday while holders Wigan, themselves now in the second tier after relegation last season, are at home to top-flight strugglers Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Third division Stevenage will look to cause a shock when Everton travel south on Saturday, when renowned giant-killers Yeovil bid to add to their illustrious Cup history at Southampton.

Sunderland, fresh from their against the odds League Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United in midweek, will find roles reversed when non-league Kidderminster arrive at the Stadium of Light.

Fourth round:
Arsenal 4 (Podolski 15, 27, Giroud 84, Cazorla 89) -0 Coventry
Nottingham Forest 0-0 Preston

Playing Saturday:
Birmingham v Swansea - 17:00
Manchester City v Watford - 17:00
Bolton v Cardiff - 17:00
Bournemouth v Liverpool - 14:45
Huddersfield v Charlton - 17:00
Port Vale v Brighton - 17:00
Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday - 17:00
Southampton v Yeovil - 17:00
Stevenage v Everton - 19:30
Sunderland v Kidderminster - 17:00
Wigan v Crystal Palace - 17:00

Playing Sunday:
Chelsea v Stoke - 17:30
Sheffield United v Fulham - 15:00

Read more on:    liverpool  |  fa cup  |  brendan rodgers  |  soccer
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