London - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers moved to
reinforce his depleted coaching set up with the left field appointment of Sean
O'Driscoll and the promotion of Pepijn Lijnders from the academy.
O'Driscoll, sacked by second tier Bristol City 18 month ago,
leaves his head coach position with the England under-19s to become Rodgers'
assistant following the axing of Colin Pascoe after a review of a disappointing
season by the club's American owners.
The Fenway Sports Group also decided to dismiss first-team
coach Mike Marsh following the evaluation in Boston last month but Rodgers was
kept on despite a trophy-less campaign and sixth place league finish.
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"I have made these appointments because I want to take
us in a new technical direction, in terms of coaching," Rodgers said in a
statement on Monday.
"I believe the entire first-team set-up will benefit
and I am extremely positive and excited about what we can achieve, as a group,
The Northern Irishman came under heavy pressure last year
after failing to match the heights of the previous title-challenging campaign
following the sale of talismanic striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
A vast outlay on new signings failed to fill the void left
by Suarez's departure and a disappointing Champions League campaign ended at
the group stage, while a meek exit to Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-finals
ended any hopes of silverware.
The former Swansea City, Watford and Reading boss was also
criticised for his constant tinkering of tactics and personnel through the
He was confident, though, of a change in fortunes at the
18-times English and five-times European champions following the introduction
of O'Driscoll, a former Ireland international whose management experience has
been limited to the lower echelons of English league football.
O'Driscoll enjoyed promotion success with Doncaster Rovers
and Bournemouth but the 58-year-old, known for playing a Rodgers-like passing
style, was sacked from his more recent roles with Nottingham Forest and Bristol
"My admiration for Sean, as a professional, is well
documented," Rodgers added.
"He is someone with a clear vision and philosophy and
has proved he has the ability to transfer that knowledge, through his coaching,
to the players."
O'Driscoll was understandably thrilled at the opportunity.
"I am excited to be joining one of the world's most
iconic football clubs," he said.
Lijnders is already familiar with the Anfield surroundings
having joined in August last year to oversee the development of the under-16s
having held similar roles with PSV Eindhoven and Porto.
The Dutchman will take on the newly created role of first
team development coach.For
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