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Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 21:09 UK

Rodgers aims to win over Swans doubters

Brendan Rodgers says he is now Swansea's biggest fan
Brendan Rodgers says he is now Swansea's biggest fan

By David Dulin
BBC Sport Wales

Brendan Rodgers has received ringing endorsements from Jose Mourinho but not all Swansea City fans agree so wholeheartedly with the "Special One".

As new Swans boss, Northern Irishman Rodgers is starting his third job in less than two years and it is his record at the first two that has sounded alarm bells with some.

The 37-year-old was working under Mourinho at Chelsea when he was handed his first managerial post at Watford in November 2008.

But Rodgers' stint there lasted just seven months when Reading came calling - the first club he played for in England and where he spent many years cutting his teeth as a coach.

That stay was over in six months though, when he was sacked in December last year with Reading languishing in the Championship relegation zone.

It seems fair for some to worry, but Rodgers sent out a clear message to those doubters after he was unveiled at the Liberty Stadium on Friday.

"From today I have become the biggest supporter of Swansea City," Rodgers told BBC Sport Wales.

"I was given a manager's job at 35 years of age, at a club I wanted to be at for longer than I was.

"But there was some restrictions and some things that happened inside Watford that became difficult for me, but it was a club I loved.

"I had a great relationship with the supporters when we started to take off and that was my only sadness of having to leave there.

"My heart took me to Reading, a club I worked at for many years, a club I first came to England to play for.

I want to be a winning Swansea manager and I think that will decide and determine how long I will be here

Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers

"I lived there for 21 years, my family was there so there was a massive pull for me to go there.

"My instincts took me away from Watford but I can guarantee that for as long as they want me here for the next two, three or four years, I want to be here."

Rodgers confirmed he was moving his family to south Wales to start afresh but rejected suggestions he has a point to prove because of what happened at Watford and Reading.

"I have a point to prove every day of my life and at all of the clubs I've been at," he added.

"I'm still the same person I was six months ago. The quality of my work is still the same. I just went to a club that was in my heart but at the wrong time.

"Reading were going through a massive transition but because of the way I work, once you stick with it, it comes to fruition and unfortunately I never got my chance to do that at Reading.

"But I stand here today a better person for that experience and hope over the next number of years Swansea can get the benefit of that."

Rodgers' playing career was cut short at the age of 20 through injury, after joining Reading from Northern Irish side Ballymena United.

He went on to take up a coaching role in the Royals' academy before joining Chelsea in 2004, where Mourinho first appointed him youth coach and then reserve team boss.

"I like everything in him," current Real Madrid boss Mourinho said at the time. "He is ambitious and does not see football very differently from myself.

"He is open, likes to learn and likes to communicate. I hope he can progress in his career. He is a good lad."

Rodgers shares the same fondness for his former manager: "Jose's obviously a big manager and thankfully for me we became good friends over that period.

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"He's a big influence for me and showed great faith in me by giving me big positions, and obviously that's helped me when I've moved out on my own and given me that confidence."

It was in 2008 that Rodgers took charge at Watford before leaving in June 2009 for Reading, where he succeeded Steve Coppell.

Rodgers has had the chance to take up other jobs since losing the Reading post six months ago, including a coaching role at big-spending Manchester City.

But it was the lure of being a manager again that made him choose Swansea.

"When I left Reading my mother passed away so I wasn't wanting any job," he said.

"I needed to support my family in that time, but towards the end of the season I spoke at length with Manchester City and there was a possibility of going there.

"But obviously my ultimate ambition was to be number one and I really enjoyed my stint as a manager and I feel I can contribute to a good club.

"I just felt this was a great fit for myself and as a young up-and-coming developing manager looking to learn, Swansea is a club whose growth has really taken off in the last three or four seasons and I want to be part of that.

"The brand of football they play was a massive factor because it's what I believe in and I don't have to change a great deal.

"It's hopefully a case of coming, developing that and improving that.

"I want to be a winning Swansea manager and I think that will decide and determine how long I will be here.

"I can't make predictions about play-offs. All I know is we will work hard every day and work well and if I can build on what we've got here the consequence of that will be positive results."

Rodgers will hope those doubters rest a little easier now and join the majority in backing their new manager.

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see also
Swans appoint Rodgers as new boss
16 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Swansea closing in on new manager
15 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Sousa confirmed as Leicester boss
07 Jul 10 |  Leicester
Curtis favours British Swans boss
06 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Sousa departs as Swansea manager
05 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Rodgers and Reading part company
17 Dec 09 |  Reading
Rodgers confirmed as Reading boss
05 Jun 09 |  Reading
Watford unveil ambitious Rodgers
27 Nov 08 |  Watford
Rodgers gets Chelsea reserves job
17 Jul 06 |  Chelsea


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