BRENDAN RODGERS has dismissed talk of "all doom and gloom" surrounding Liverpool this season – and cites the emergence of the next Anfield generation as proof of a brighter future.
A lack of senior professionals, particularly in attack, has forced Rodgers to blood a succession of the club’s youngsters during the opening months of his tenure as manager.
With one eye fixed firmly on Sunday’s crunch Premier League trip to Chelsea, the Northern Irishman will once again rely heavily on Liverpool’s youth for the Europa League group game against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow.
Such a policy has already seen Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom emerge through the ranks while also strengthening the claims of Jonjo Shelvey.
And Rodgers believes that trend and Liverpool’s showing in Europe thus far should at least in part silence the critics.
"I may need to sacrifice some players in Europe and move the squad about, but there’s also a joy in it as well," he says.
"We have won two out of our three Europa League group games and against Udinese we should have won to make it three out of three, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
"It’s a wonderful chance to see the youngsters. I want to compete in every competition, but I have to be mindful of what we have at the moment.
"If you look at Newcastle at the weekend, they lost three players injured and had a player sent off. If something like that happens in our group then we’ll really struggle. That’s always at the back of my mind.
"But it’s a real positive as well to give these youngsters a chance and I look forward to seeing how they cope and play, and going forward they will be better."
Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Anzhi a fortnight ago moved them to the top of Group A at the halfway point and has given Rodgers leeway to rest key players.