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Feb 21, 2013

Rodgers urges patience in Europa tie

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his side to be patient as they attempt to claw back a two-goal deficit against Zenit St Petersburg in their Europa League last-32 second-leg tie.

• Reina confident of progression
• Walsh: Chance to unite Anfield

The Reds will need to score at least three goals to ensure their progression to the next round, but Rodgers believes unnecessary urgency in attack could leave Liverpool vulnerable to conceding a goal that would put Zenit in a prime position to win the tie.

Rodgers has assured his players that they must not change their style of play as the match goes on.

"We know how passionate the fans will be," he said. "And that is a tremendous asset. But even though we need to get two goals, we also need patience.

"We have to be aggressive in attack and we must have intensity in our pressing. It is not an early goal that is important, but simply the first goal.

"If that comes after 40, 55 or 70 minutes, I still think we have the power of the crowd and the players to get the result - as long as we stay super compact. We have to keep our discipline and let the crowd do their job."

Luis Suarez was left to rue a number of missed chances during last week's match in Russia, but Rodgers insists the Uruguayan will be determined to bounce back at Anfield.

"Luis just wants to help the team so much," he said. "After the game in Zenit, he could have been disappointed after having missed a few chances, but he is a real buoyant spirit.

"He didn't want to come off against Swansea, even though there was only 15 minutes left to go. He wanted to stay on and get more goals. But I wanted to look at the bigger picture.

"I wanted him to get a round of applause from the crowd because I thought he deserved it and he's going to be very important for us tomorrow night. So I was giving him a bit of a breather. He's a critical player for us."

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