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Liverpool set to deploy fringe players against Hearts in Europa League

Updated: Wednesday, 22 Aug 2012 15:00 | Comments

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard will not feature in tomorrow's game
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard will not feature in tomorrow's game

Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe admits squad rotation is likely to play a significant part in their Europa League campaign - starting at Hearts tomorrow.

Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson have all remained behind on Merseyside to rest ahead of Sunday's visit of Manchester City.

That means some fringe players will be involved in the Europa League qualifying play-off in Edinburgh tomorrow and Pascoe accepted that would be the case if they successfully progressed from the two-legged tie.

"That's the way you've got to look at it," he said.

"With the squad and the players we have got here it's fantastic so you have to rotate the players because you play on a Saturday, then a Thursday and a Sunday, so it's an opportunity for all the players to perform.

"One minute you are in the Europa League and the next we will be playing Manchester City" - Colin Pascoe

"One minute you are in the Europa League and the next we will be playing Manchester City, then it's the second leg against Hearts followed by Arsenal.

"There are some fantastic games and teams who you want to play against. These are games we can't wait for."

Despite the squad being weakened by the absence of that key quartet, Pascoe insisted they would not be taking the Scottish Cup winners lightly.

"Every game you put a shirt on for Liverpool FC is very important," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"There will be a full house up in Scotland and all of the boys are looking forward to it.

"It's one of those banana skins and it's a great pull for them to play Liverpool.

"It's two legs and we are going to be positive and try to win the tie up there and then bring them back to Anfield for the same again."

Midfielder Jordan Henderson may be given a run-out in Edinburgh and he is looking to find a way back into the team having been left on the bench at West Brom.

The 22-year-old had a difficult first campaign at Anfield last season but believes he has learned from the experience.

"I think there were a lot of positives to be taken out of my first full season," he said.

"Admittedly there were also a lot of ups and downs but I learnt a lot and I became a man in that time.

"I've just got to use all the experience that I gained in that year and hopefully this can be a better year for me.

"Obviously all of us players are disappointed if we haven't played very well or we've got beat but you've just got to go away and stay positive and keep training hard, keep working hard and eventually it will come right for you.

"I look to kick on every season. This season is no different.

"I just need to work hard and try and get into the team first. I need to make sure I train well and that come the weekend, the manager can't leave me out."

A summer stint with England at the European Championship, where he made two substitute appearances has also helped his self-belief.

"Being there with these types of players gives you more confidence when you go and play at the highest level," he added.

"It gave me a lot of confidence, so let's hope I can use that and just keep pushing forward."

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