Rodgers: I learned so much at Reading FCBy Steve Thomson
October 19, 2012
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has fond memories of his time in charge of Reading – even though they handed him a P45 after only six of months.
The 39-year-old Northern Irishman believes he learned from adversity and the experience helped make him a better manager.
Rodgers said: "I had a great upbringing as a coach with many great experiences. I became a manager at 35 and went to Watford.
"It was a perfect club for me and, the reality is, if it was probably any other club other than Reading I probably wouldn't have left there. The supporters at Watford were terrific, the board were outstanding and really supported me as a young manager, and the players were fantastic.
"But the draw to go back to a club where I spent 14 years [as a junior player, then later youth coach] just felt right, with the people I knew there, some of the young players that were coming through at the time and the wonderful relationship I had with the chairman, John Madejski.
"It was a difficult time there, though, because they'd just missed out in the Championship play-offs. It proved to be a difficult time, especially with what I was trying to implement which was always going to need that wee bit of extra time.
"But I learnt from the experience and reflected upon it. It prepared me going forward and I was able to take those things into the rest of my career. It allowed me to be much more clinical in my work when I arrived at Swansea, and thankfully it's gone quite well from there."
Reading went on a wonderful winning run last seaon to gain promotion back to the Premier League under Brian McDermott and Rodgers will recognise many familiar faces from the club from his days in charge.
"Reading a fantastic club," he told Liverpool's website, "and I'll always be grateful to them. They played a massive part in my life. I moved there when I was 16 years of age, my kids were born there and I lived in the town for nearly 20 years.
"When I left Reading, it was probably my only bad experience in football. But I don't really see it as a bad experience - it was a great learning experience for me. I learnt many things in that six months that allowed me to go on and hopefully carve out a career for many years in the game.
"Brian McDermott came in and done exceptionally well. He's got them promoted and they were outstanding, particularly in the second half of last season to go on and win the Championship.
"When you come up, it is very, very difficult. You come up against better quality players who can really hurt you, but I'm sure they'll do very, very well. They're a wonderful club."
The Reading game is the third in a run of four consecutive home games for Liverpool, who have confirmed they will develop their curent ground into a 60,000 capcity stadium instead of seeking to build a new stadium in Stanley Park.
Meanwhile, Liverpool's head of performance Glen Driscsoll, has claimed Rodgers is a better manager than Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.
Driscoll was a coach at Stamford Bridge under the club's two most successful recent managers before taking up his new role.
Both Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti won the Premier League title for Chelsea but Driscoll says Rodgers has his own special style of mangement.
"Brendan has the best mix," he said."He has all the best traits I've seen. Carlo Ancelotti had a lot of humility and I see that in Brendan and obviously the methoologies of Mourinho."