Sigurdsson has no regrets over Liverpool snub

Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson insists he has no regrets about turning down chance of reunion with former boss Brendan Rodgers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 March, 2013, 4:35am


Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson admits he has no regrets about rejecting a move to Liverpool in favour of Tottenham Hotspur as his side head to Anfield for a crucial meeting in the battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Unbeaten in 12 league games, including last weekend's victory over Arsenal in the north London derby, Andre Villas-Boas' team are up to third in the Premier League, five points behind second-placed Manchester City, while seventh-placed Liverpool are hoping to make a late surge into the top four.

Tottenham, though, have also been lifted by their impressive form in Europe and they travel to Merseyside today after a midweek 3-0 Europa League victory over Inter Milan.

That run has only strengthened Iceland midfielder Sigurdsson's view he made the right choice when he returned to England following an £8 million (HK$93 million) move from German club Hoffenheim.

The former Swansea man had been expected to be reunited with Brendan Rodgers, his old manager at the Liberty Stadium and now in charge at Liverpool.

But Sigurdsson said: "It was hard to turn them down because I knew Brendan. It wasn't about the history Liverpool have. Tottenham came in for me and you can see how well they've been doing over the last few years.

"They finished fourth last year and were unlucky not to get in the Champions League, and they did well in the two years before that. This is a great club with fantastic players and I'm pleased I made the choice I did.

"Hopefully it's the right decision. You never know how things might be, we could have been seventh in the table and they could have been third, but there are many good players here and hopefully we can be in the Champions League next season.

"It will be good to play against Brendan's team but it's about getting three points."

Gareth Bale again shone in the victory over Inter and, having been ruled out of the return in Italy after collecting a yellow card in the first leg, will definitely start today.

Meanwhile, red-hot striker Luis Suarez insists a win today will ignite Liverpool's pursuit of a top-four finish.

Liverpool are 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and 12 in arrears of Spurs with 10 games to go in another mediocre season where Suarez's goals have been the highlight.

The Uruguayan scored a hat-trick in his last outing against Wigan Athletic despite carrying an injury that Rodgers said would have forced "nine out of 10" players out of the game.

"We've been in good form recently and it's a good opportunity to reduce the gap between ourselves and Spurs," said Suarez, who with 21 goals leads the Premier League scoring charts by two from Manchester United's Robin van Persie.

Suarez said Liverpool's performances had improved after bolstering the squad in January with attacking options in Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.

"There is a slight chance we can make Champions League football - and if we want to do that, this is the sort of game we need to win," he added.

Rodgers also believes his Liverpool side are finally fulfilling their potential as they enter the final stretch of the season.

Since his arrival from Swansea last season, the Reds have struggled to reach the consistency required to mount a sustained challenge for a top-four place.

Following the convincing 5-0 and 4-0 wins over Swansea and Wigan, the Reds will be looking for a third straight Premier League victory for the first time this season.

Rodgers thinks his players are starting to click and he said: "We've played a lot of really good games this season and maybe weren't as cohesively good then as we are now. We've played 28 games - after 14 games we were 12th in the league. If you take the points total from the following 14, we'd be third.

"It's going how I thought it would go, which would be improvement as the players became accustomed to how we work.

"Because of the great attitude of the players - they've really embraced the work - they're getting the rewards. At this moment, the level is very high and we want to continue with that."