Date:Wednesday November 23 2011
Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers says Sir Alex Ferguson has advised him to strengthen the squad in January.
The Manchester United manager praised the Swans' performance when his side beat them 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium, but Ferguson gave Rodgers some helpful advice - to ensure there is good strength in depth following an active January transfer window.
Rodgers' side has made a good start to life in the Premier League, sitting in 13th place, but teams around them will strengthen in the new year and the Swans must follow suit to avoid falling into a relegation scrap in the second half of the season.
Rodgers admitted he was already fully aware that his squad needs strengthening, but he welcomed advice from one of the best ever club managers.
'Sir Alex was excellent with us after the game,'
'He was very, very complimentary about our team, about the way we played and the threat that we carried.
'And he also gave us some great advice. It was nothing we did not know already, but it confirms the importance of it when you hear it from someone of his stature.
'He talked about the importance of having depth in your squad, and January is going to be a big month for us.
'There's absolutely no question that it's not the players who are playing but the ones who are on the outside who will be vital for us when it comes to staying in this league.
'You have to have the players who can come in when others are missing and that's something we need to address.'
Rodgers says it's important to have cover for injuries and suspensions:
'Even Sir Alex, with a multimillion-pound squad, spoke about the need for options when you get through to February and March,'
'We know his advice comes from experience. When someone like him, who has gone through it so many times, says something it provides a bit of clarity.
'Injuries can hit you in the second half of the season, or an FA Cup run could mean a lot of extra games.
'You have to be prepared for that, because you cannot bring in any new players after January and there are still three and a half months of the season to go.'
Rodgers says he will be looking to make signings in January to continue 'winning games':
'I think when you come out after Christmas, the reality sets in that you are part of this league and you have to battle to stay in it.
'There will be a buzz for the players all season — we are privileged to be in this league and we will grasp every single moment of it.
'But we need a strong squad for the latter stages of the season. You can't bring players in then, so we have to have them in place.'
'January is going to be very important for us,' he stresses again, 'and I think it will be possible for us to do something.
'We have to get players in to support the group that we already have.
'We have done a lot of hard work to get to the Premier League, but it's even harder to stay here.
'The players have been terrific up until now, they have performed admirably, but we want to give ourselves every chance of winning games right through until the end of the season.
'To do that we have to make signings in January.'
Date:Wednesday November 23 2011
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