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Liverpool boss admits Swansea win will not be bettered

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers knows his reign will be judged on trophies but even if he reached the FA Cup final he claims it will not be the biggest game of his career.

Rodgers will never forget the play-off final. Credit: PA

The Reds face Aston Villa at Wembley on Sunday looking to reach their first final since 2012, when they won the League Cup but lost the FA Cup to Chelsea.

However, Rodgers insists he has already managed in the biggest game of his career so anything else will not faze him.

Swansea's play-off final was the biggest game for me and always will be so it is not about pipping it - it would be exactly the same if we were to get to a Champions League final.

I'd only been a manager a short time and I will always say it was my biggest game because it is a life-changing game.

There are more prestigious games in football in terms of trophies but the play-off final, in terms of career and life and where it projects you to, is a big game. That game will always be the biggest game in my career but this game will be something different.

– Liverpool manager Bredan Rodgers


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Carver: Newcastle is the 'hardest job in football'

Newcastle manager John Carver admits he has "the hardest job in football" as he looks to cement the Magpies' Premier League status.

Carver is feeling the pressure at Newcastle. Credit: PA

Carver's side have lost their last five league matches on the spin and managed to win just two out of 13 since Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace in December 2014.

Quoted in Goal, the Newcastle boss said:

I think it is the hardest job in football. Definitely. It is. I don't manufacture anything – I don't do that. Straight and honest, that's me.

It's the dream job, right. This is the dream job, but the hardest thing is taking the criticism off your own people.

That's the bit I find really, really difficult. And some of it is deserved and some of it is not. Sometimes you're dealt the hand and you've got to get on with it, and this is the hand I've been dealt.

– Newcastle manager John Carver

Spurs boss unsure about impact of Newcastle boycott

Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino is unsure whether a planned boycott by Newcastle fans will prove a help or hindrance to his side this weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino is looking to turn his own team's fortunes around. Credit: PA

This season, like so many in recent years, has been a frustrating one at St James' Park and that has led some fans to take action when Spurs arrive on Sunday.

A number of supporters plan to boycott the televised game in protest against owner Mike Ashley, which is likely to lead to a peculiar atmosphere in the north east.

It will certainly make it an interesting test for Pochettino's side as they look to recover from some disappointing recent results of their own.

You never know because sometimes the effect on the players and team maybe is positive. Maybe sometimes the players are scared and run more than all season.

Or maybe it is a very negative atmosphere and they feel under pressure and don't show their face. You never know in football how it can affect all the decisions around the team. For that it is difficult to guess what will happen on Sunday.

– Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino

West Ham boss: Man City are a 'wounded animal'

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is not bothered by how Manchester City will react to their slump, only that his own players produce the goods at the Ethiad Stadium on Sunday.

Big Sam expects a tough game at Man City. Credit: PA

A terrible run of form has seen City slip down into fourth place, their 4-2 loss to rivals Manchester United leaving Manuel Pellegrini's side well adrift of leaders Chelsea and now in a battle to stay ahead of Liverpool in the race for Champions League qualification.

However, West Ham are also in need of some consistency, with a stoppage-time goal conceded at home to Stoke denying them what would have been only a third league win of 2015.

I am more concerned about getting the best out of my team.

Maybe City are a wounded animal and they might come out all guns blazing or they might be tentative. We won't know until the match starts.

We are expecting them to put in a determined performance in front of their own fans.

– West Ham manager Sam Allardyce
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