Alex Ferguson believes Brendan Rodgers can count himself lucky if Liverpool owner John Henry shows the patience required to re-establish the Merseyside giants as a top flight force.

Rodgers' situation has been likened to the one which Ferguson faced when he came south to take charge at Manchester United in 1986.

Then the United board kept faith with their man before the trophies start rolling in.

It seems Henry needs to show similar resolve with Liverpool languishing in seventh spot, a massive 21 points adrift of their Premier League-leading rivals, who they visit tomorrow.

"Patience is a real commodity in football and if Brendan's getting that then he's very lucky," said Ferguson.

"It's terrific if Liverpool fans are prepared to be patient because it's going to require it because it's a long way back to where they used to be.

"It is difficult to measure the Liverpool side of the moment against those teams of the past.

"They haven't won the league for more than 20 years. It's a long time for a club like Liverpool."