Rodgers warns Liverpool against placing high expectations on Coutinho

The Reds’ manager believes too often young players suffer from the burden of expectation, but praises the Brazilian’s impressive display in Saturday’s 6-0 away win at Newcastle

Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool should not put pressure on young attacker Philippe Coutinho following his excellent performance in the Reds’ 6-0 away win over Newcastle on Saturday.

The Brazilian playmaker moved to Anfield in January for a fee of £8.5 million from Inter Milan and has since become a regular in the first team, scoring two goals in his nine starts.

Rodgers, however, is determined to avert pressure and expectation away from his young star, though conceded that Coutinho had made a brilliant start to life in the Premier League.

“We build up players in the country and put them on a pedestal and then quickly nail them down,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.

“He’s had an outstanding performance and people can see why we brought him in. He’s 20 years of age and fits the culture of what we’re trying to do here.

“He’s technically strong and he’s a very humble boy. He works hard, you can see the effort in his game, the pressure, the intensity, so he fits in really well, but there’s a long way to go.

“If you look at the stats you’ll see I haven’t eased him in gently. He’s played nearly every game.”

Coutinho was central to his side’s attacking threat at St James’ Park in the absence of Luis Suarez, setting up Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool’s third goal with a particularly impressive through-ball.

Rodgers continued: “It was a wonderful demonstration of what we’re trying to do here. Offensively, we passed the ball very well first and foremost and we scored six goals, but the balance in our game was good too.

“There was organisation, educated pressure on the ball and when the chances came we were ruthless. It was an outstanding performance.

“To go there and beat Newcastle 6-0 when you know the home team really needs the victory, I think it tells you more about our performance. The players were outstanding.”

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