New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he is not bothered that the club will be kicking off their season much earlier than many Premier League rivals.

The Reds kick off season 2012/13 with a Europa League qualifier against FC Gomel in Belarus on Thursday night and although that would worry some managers, Rodgers feels it could be a very good thing for his squad.

"We are still finding our fitness and our match fitness so playing these games helps us," he told the club's official website.

"It will give us that edge going into the beginning of this season.

"Players at this level are competitive so they love the competition.

"Even though we are still gaining fitness it's a competitive game and it's a tournament we would like to do well in.

"It's a bit of a hike and we've got to get on our travels again, but that's life and you've just got to get on with it.

"We are looking forward to the game and hopefully it will serve us well for the beginning of the season."

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