Brendan Rodgers believes the hostile atmosphere which awaits Liverpool's players at Goodison Park can provide the perfect backdrop for the Reds to showcase their resilience and resolve.

Rodgers will lead his team across Stanley Park on Saturday in search of a first Merseyside derby win as manager.

The boss was afforded his first taste of the Goodison derby atmosphere last season, when Luis Suarez was denied a last-minute winner and the Reds were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw.

He's keen for his side to show the same fight and perseverance when they clash with the Blues at the weekend.

"I'd been there with Swansea, but it was totally different last season [with Liverpool]," Rodgers told reporters gathered at Melwood.

"It's a really hostile environment to go and play in, but our players coped with it brilliantly. It's a real good venue for football and it's a ground that will test your character.

"But that's something we will look forward to, because, if there's one thing that we've improved in the time that I've been here, is there's resilience in the team.

"We will lose games, but our ability to bounce back and to be resolute is improving all the time. So it will be a good ground to go and play in. And it will be great for us to go and play our football.

"Every game away from home is a test of character. But, of course, when it's a derby game and the rivalry and the history of this game is there, it will always test you.

"The supporters will always have that rivalry with Everton and there'll always be uniqueness to the game. This is one of the unique cities. I remember growing up and watching the red and blue strips mixed in with each other [in the crowd] at games.

"You wouldn't find that at other derbies. It's slightly different now, but there's still real passion and intensity about it. You're fighting for your supporters and hopefully you can do them proud."

Roberto Martinez's men have made a solid start to the season and currently sit sixth in the table - three points behind Liverpool.


Home wins against Chelsea and Newcastle have helped maintain an impressive unbeaten record on home soil in the league, which now stretches back to December 2012.

"They'll be up there challenging this season, but their recent history shows you that," said Rodgers. "I think that David Moyes did a brilliant job there and they've been challenging for some time.

"They looked like they were maybe going to be in line for the top four last season but then dropped off a wee bit. They still finished in the top six.

"Both teams have made a very good start to this season and they are one of our rivals. But it's no surprise Everton have been up there for the last few years.

"They've been very competitive and been up and around that level for a few years. Roberto has come in and he'll do an excellent job there."

Martinez arrived in the summer to fill the void left by Moyes - and the Spaniard was able to successfully recruit a host of fresh talent before the close of the summer transfer window.

Rodgers believes the new additions, particularly Gareth Barry, James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku, have significantly bolstered the Blues' ranks.

"Gareth Barry has been a brilliant professional throughout his career," said Rodgers. "He was a young player at Brighton and then he made his way through and he's been the ultimate professional.

"Any player who I have ever spoken to and who has worked with him agrees. You wouldn't survive as long in the game unless you're an outstanding professional. On top of that, he's a very good player.


"His chances were limited at Manchester City but he's gone to Everton and added great experience. Young James McCarthy is an excellent footballer. He showed that at Wigan and he's still a young player who plays well and understands the game.

"Lukaku, as you have seen, is still young, but possesses that pace and power and he can be a threat. So they've signed good players and then when you add them to a group that has been together for quite a long time, they've got that experience and good quality in the team.

"Roberto did very well in the couple of years that he was at Swansea. Paulo Sousa came in and added his slant to the team, then I came in and looked to take the club on. Michael Laudrup has come in and done an excellent job.

"I'm the same as Roberto, as we have that inherent belief of dominating the ball and controlling the game with the ball rather than without it. And we look to play attractive, attacking football. What we've tried to introduce here is that tactical discipline."

Rodgers insists the Reds' 4-0 demolition of Fulham at Anfield in their last game before the international break showcased the team's attacking qualities, as well as their ability to retain possession.

"We've made progress, there's no doubt about that," said Rodgers. "If you look at our last performance against Fulham, it was outstanding.

"When you analyse and assess it over and above the result, we were just short of 700 passes in the game, which for me is a sign of the fluidity and the fluency of the team as much as anything.

"Our rhythm in the game was good. We had nearly 70 per cent of the ball, but with that we had 30 shots at goal and we scored four goals and could have had more. It just typified the confidence of the players and their belief."