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Rodgers defends wayward Suarez

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for Luis Suarez despite the striker's failure to convert one of his myriad chances against Reading.

• Jolly: Sterling making giant strides
• Blog: Huff and puff not enough

Suarez, 25, provided the assist for Raheem Sterling's winning goal in the 1-0 victory at Anfield but was guilty of missing several opportunities, with nine of his ten attempts on goal not even hitting the target.

However, Rodgers refused to criticise his forward, insisting that there is nothing wrong with Suarez's strike rate.

"He's not perfect but he has got a great return if you look at his stats, when he was at Ajax and since he has come into here," Rodgers said.

"But there is no doubt he will want to be more clinical. But going forward we will want to get more players who take the load off him."

Rodgers praised Suarez for his determination to play, four days after appearing at altitude in Bolivia for Uruguay, and despite sustaining a dead leg in a challenge by Reading's Kaspars Gorkss on the stroke of half-time.

"He didn't want to come off," Rodgers said. "He is an incredible character. He created opportunities for himself. A terrific performance from him. He kept going, kept getting into good positions and will be disappointed he didn't score."

The Northern Irish boss also praised Sterling, who opened his account for the club at the age of 17 years, 317 days. Only Michael Owen, in 1997, has scored for Liverpool at a younger age.

"It was a wonderful finish and he is a terrific talent," Rodgers added. "He has a good head on young shoulders."

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