Rowell Report: Perfect time to play the Reds?

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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LIVERPOOL Football Club are going through massive changes at the moment and I think there’s a rare whiff of vulnerability about the Reds that we’re not used to seeing.

I think they can be got at, and I think the key for Sunderland this weekend is not to let the visitors rest or settle in early at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

I watched Liverpool’s away game at West Brom and the first thing to say is that they remain a quality side. I’m not saying they’re rubbish. They passed the ball around well, created chances and could easily have been one or two goals ahead in the first half-hour.

But as soon as they went a goal behind they became a different team – anxious, disjointed, struggling with discipline – and that’s the hallmark of a team that is low on confidence.

Liverpool are a club in great transition at the moment – a new manager in Brendan Rodgers, players coming in, players going out, style of play changing – and it will take time for them to adapt.

This is where Sunderland have an opportunity, especially if they can dominate the game from the start.

I know that’s a tall order but I look through the team-sheets from both sides and I don’t see any reason why it can’t be done.

I have got huge respect for Liverpool.

They were the benchmark side when I was growing up and when I was player – the side by which all others were judged.

You knew it was the tallest of orders getting anything from Anfield and you knew it wasn’t much easier at Roker Park.

For many years, anything at all you could get from a Liverpool game was regarded as a bonus.

But this is a different Liverpool right now.

We have a decent home record against them, having won two of our last three against Liverpool at the Stadium of Light.

And I think we have a chance of getting a win again this weekend, if we can get into them from the start.

To read more of the Rowell Report, please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.