Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rush: No Excuses For Poor Liverpool Form

The former Liverpool striker Ian
Rush insists the current players
cannot use the club's off-field
issues as an excuse for their
poor performances this season.
New England Sports Ventures
(NESV) this week agreed a
£300m deal to buy the Reds,
although this is being challenged
by Tom Hicks and George Gillett
and will be the subject of a High
Court hearing next week.
The sale of the club has been
ongoing since April but issues
surrounding Hicks and Gillett's
ownership have been dragging
on much longer than that.
Liverpool's start to the season is
their worst since 1953-54 –
when they were relegated – and
they are 18th in the Premier
League with just six points.
However, Rush believes it is too
easy for the players to hide
behind the ongoing uncertainty
about the club's future. "It is easy
to use that as an excuse but
when I played we just got on
with the game," Rush said.
"It is easy to criticise when you
are not doing well. You can easily
blame everyone but we have just
got to get behind everyone. We
are all in it together, the owners,
the management, the players and
the supporters.
"If we are all fighting against
each other it is not working so
what we have to do is for
everyone to get behind each
other and be positive.
"People say we are in the bottom
three. I look at it and say we are
five points from the Champions
League [places].
"Two wins and you never know
how things might change. That's
the way I look at it."
Rush, speaking at a McDonald's
grassroots football summit in
Belfast, added that the derby at
Goodison Park a week tomorrow
could prove the ideal turning
"We will come out of this
because we just need a bit of
confidence and a bit of luck," he
"If we get that... we are playing
Everton in the next game. If we
win that one everything will
Rush's former team-mate Steve
Nicol, currently a coach in
America's Major League Soccer,
believes the proposed new
owners of the club will be a good
fit at Anfield.
Nicol has been coach of New
England Revolution since 2002,
the same year NESV took over the
Boston Red Sox baseball
franchise, and has been able to
witness first hand what effect
and the success they have had.
"As a member of the Liverpool
family, I am excited to hear that
new owners may be taking over
at Liverpool," said the 48-year-
"My understanding of this group
is that they have protected and
nurtured the history and
tradition of one of America's
beloved teams, while bringing
championships to the franchise.
"As a former player for, and now
supporter of, Liverpool, this is the
type of ownership group
Liverpool should be looking to, to
take the club back to where it
rightfully belongs."
NESV's takeover is still some way
from being finalised, with the
court hearing early next week
likely to be pivotal to a swift
Next Friday is the deadline for
Hicks and Gillett to repay their
£273m debt to the Royal Bank of
Scotland and the court action is
seen as a delaying tactic to buy
more time as the Americans seek
a way of getting more profit out
of the sale to avoid them
suffering a loss of £144m.
Should the situation not be
resolved in the next seven days,
or the sale be delayed for any
reason, RBS could opt to call in
their debt and put Kop Holdings,
the parent company set up by
the Americans to purchase the
club in 2007, into administration.
It was initially believed that
would not affect Liverpool's
Premier League status but it
emerged last night that they
would be at risk of a nine-point
Such a turn of events would leave
the Reds on minus three points
and bottom of the table by the
time they play Everton on 17
Many fans would probably accept
that just to be rid of Hicks and
Gillett, whose three-and-a-half-
year tenure has been riddled
with problems.
Meanwhile the Liverpool forward
Dirk Kuyt insists the team is
making progress under new
manager Roy Hodgson even if
results on the pitch have not
suggested as much.
"If you could see the training
sessions, you could see the
progress that is being made
every day," he said. "We have
been working really hard and we
believe in ourselves. The
progression is there and I believe
it's just a matter of time before it
comes out on the pitch and the
good results will follow. We are
working hard on playing with
the shape of the team that the
manager likes to use and we
have been making progress.
"We didn't have a lot of time in
pre-season to work on things
but it is definitely starting to
come together."

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