Jack Cork is looking forward to taking on his former mentor on Saturday.
The ex-Chelsea midfielder worked with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers at the Blues during his formative years in West London, and wherever Jack has gone since, Rodgers has never been too far behind.
After the conclusion of Cork’s initial loan spell at Saints during 2008-09 season, the youngster moved onto Watford, where Ulsterman Rodgers was getting his first taste of club management.
Cork accepts that Rodgers’s current Liverpool are becoming a class act as his former manager begins to get his feet under the table at Anfield. The duo will be reunited in the top-flight again this weekend, and the midfielder tells Saturday’s official matchday programme, that he is not surprised to see Rodgers doing well.
“He always used to joke that he’d become a top coach one day,” Cork said. “And he’s been as true as his word.
“He taught me some important lessons when I was a young player at Chelsea.
“He was very strong on the work-ethic, he was a terrific organiser, and he encouraged self-expression. He talks a good game and he gives his players confidence.
“He coached under José Mourinho at Chelsea and I’m sure he took a few leaves out of José’s book.”
Liverpool look as though they are finding their feet under Rodgers’s stewardship with three consecutive wins behind them, but Cork insists the game is no write off for the Saints.
“At home I fancy us to beat anyone,” he says boldly. Proof of the pudding came in the 3-1 despatching of defending champions Manchester City, but after a 2-1 defeat by bottom of the table QPR can he still feel as confident?
“It was a setback for sure,” says Cork, “but the defeat by QPR followed by the goalless draw at Norwich didn’t truly reflect the way we played. On the balance of play we deserved to win both games.
“We’ve not been taking our chances in front of goal, but it’s something we know we can rectify. Our record in front of goal this season proves that.”
Read the full interview with Jack inside this Saturday’s official matchday programme, priced at £3 in and around St Mary’s stadium.