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Aug 4, 2012

Rodgers: Suarez must move on

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has urged Luis Suarez to put last season's controversy behind him and "move on" for the benefit of the club.

• Suarez: Team GB fans lack respect
• Suarez blames ban on Man Utd 'power'

Since being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a Premier League match at Anfield last October, Suarez, 25, has been the subject of hostility from some supporters.

The controversy was re-ignited in February when Suarez seemingly refused Evra's handshake as the teams conducted their traditional pre-match greeting in the return meeting at Old Trafford.

After recently accusing United of having too much power and blaming Evra for the failure to shake hands, the forward then hit out at fans at the Millennium Stadium after they jeered when the player was shown on the big screen during Uruguay's national anthem ahead of their meeting with Team GB.

Rodgers, though, wants an end to the saga, with the coach quoted in several newspapers as saying: "The first point is that opposition fans only give people stick because they're good players.

"You don't see bad ones getting it. Luis probably still feels a little bit of injustice about last season, but for me the message is that we have to move on. We have to move forward.

"What's happened has happened and let's let it go now, however hard it is. We want to be winning games and doing our best for the football club."

Uruguay's early elimination from the 2012 Olympics means Suarez, and his compatriot Sebastian Coates, will return to their club ahead of Thursday's Europa League third qualifying round, second leg against FC Gomel

Rodgers, whose side won the first leg 1-0, is delighted he will have Suarez at his disposal. He said: "It will be fantastic to have Luis coming back, and he is already fighting fit. He will have a couple of days off and join up with us after the weekend.

"He's been playing games, so he will already be up to a decent level of fitness, maybe even higher really, because he's had more competitive games. I'm really looking forward to working with him."

Regarding further additions to his squad, Rodgers said: "There is nothing imminent just yet, not that I am aware of, but hopefully things will progress over the next couple of days. It may take one or two moves to spark everything off.

"I want players in sooner rather than later, it is important to get the group together as quickly as possible, but if not we will just have to be patient.

"I have also looked at one or two loan deals from abroad. There are some quality players in that market that I have inquired about. The make-up of the group will change before the season starts and that will change the dynamic of the team also."