Football - Suarez satisfies Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes striker Luis Suarez thrives on the abuse and criticism he receives and insists he would not swap him for Manchester United's Robin van Persie.

PA Sport

The Barclays Premier League's two leading scorers go head-to-head on Sunday at Old Trafford and Suarez is certain to receive a hostile reception.

United fans have not forgiven the Uruguay international after he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra and then refused to shake the defender's hand in the subsequent league encounter last February.

He will undoubtedly be the target for abuse from home fans and former director of football Damien Comolli, who signed Suarez from Ajax for £22.7million in January 2011, has suggested that could drive the striker out of English football.

But Rodgers is not concerned as he thinks the 25-year-old will just raise his game in response.

"His mental fitness is very strong," said the Reds boss.

"He is a player who, like most top players, can cope mentally and you have to because of the pressures they put on themselves to perform and the pressures of playing for a big club.

"But I think he has been admirable. He has never come in here any day not smiling and working hard.

"Like with all the players I always spend the time to make sure he is in a good way not just on the field but off it and he has been no different. If anything he thrives on it and it gives him a greater motivation and I think everyone has seen that since he has been here."

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