Across the water: Rodgers takes Reds to Tynecastle

The Times takes a look at how East Antrim’s England-based footballing fraternity got on this week.

Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool will be aiming to bounce back from Saturday’s 3-0 Premiership defeat to West Brom as they take on Hearts in the Europa League tonight.

Given the way Rodgers set Swansea up to play last year, few would have expected the Carnlough man’s team to be outdone in the manner they were by a Baggies side which included Larne man Gareth McAuley.

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Incredibly, it was Liverpool’s heaviest opening-day defeat in the top-flight since 1937. While it was a disappointing result for all connected to the Anfield club, Rome wasn’t built in a day and Rodgers has, perhaps, learnt more about his players in defeat than he would have done had they edged to a win.

After tonight’s test at Tynecastle, he will switch his attention to the Super Sunday clash with League champions Manchester City who got their title defence under way with a 3-2 win over Southampton.

In the Championship, Glengormley’s Craig Cathcart was a second-half sub in Blackpool’s 2-0 away win at Millwall and he started in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Leeds.

Another Newtownabbey man, Corry Evans, came off the bench in Hull City’s opening-day 1-0 win over Brighton. He played 73 minutes in City’s 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Wednesday.

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On Saturday, Larne’s Jeff Hughes got a full 90 minutes under his belt for Notts County in their 2-1 win at Crewe Alexandra in League One before helping The Magpies to a 2-0 success over Hartlepool on Tuesday evening.

In League Two, Bristol Rovers’ Michael Smith - fresh from his spectacular first goal for the club against Ipswich in the League Cup - was part of The Gas team which lost to Oxford United on Saturday. He also played in Rovers’ 1-1 draw away to Barnet on Tuesday.

Former Inver Park favourite Robbie Weir moved from Tranmere Rovers to Burton Albion in the summer. He featured from the start in the 3-0 defeat to Rotherham on Saturday and found the net in the 6-2 win over Wimbledon on Tuesday.