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Rodgers unsung hero

14 November 2013

Manager praises midfield man

Anton Rodgers was one of the unsung heroes of Latics' Johnstone's Paint Trophy win against Notts County.

While the goalscorers receive the acclaim, the 20-year-old midfield man slipped under the radar with a quietly effective performance as he deputised for the injured James Wesolowski.

Surprisingly Rodgers (pictured) was making only his third start for Latics and seventh appearance since his summer arrival following his release by Brighton.

Latics' manager Lee Johnson was fulsome in his praise of Rodgers, the son of Liverpool manager Brendan.

He said: "Anton is one of those players that sometimes the public don't appreciate.

"Sometimes the crowd see a big tackle, or run from Jonno (Clarke-Harris) or pacy run.

"What Anton is good at is tidying up and playing the right ball at the right time. He will pop an easy ball wide to set up an attack.

"He is young and inexperienced, but tactically very astute which I would expect living with his dad."

Johnson added that Rodgers is one of the best seven-a-side players he has ever seen, but he needs to transfer that to the 11-a-side game as he did against Notts County.

Latics' manager continued: "Anton reminds me of myself, though he is a better player.

"At his age, I was only playing in the Conference. I like him a lot and have been trying to get him into the team more, but it has not been possible.

"He was given his opportunity against Notts County and took it.

"And it is no coincidence that in the three games Anton has started we have scored nine goals. That is no fluke and shows how well he manages the game."

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