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Werner pledge to keep Saurez and 'deliver'

Monday, 19 November 2012 - 1:57pm IST | Agency: Daily Telegraph

The mantra from Liverpool chairman Tom Werner used to be 'underpromise and over-deliver'.

Shortly after watching Luis Suarez's latest star turn against Wigan Athletic, Werner was in the mood to make a more forthright pledge to those seeking a guarantee of Fenway Sports Group's intentions.

He said there is no prospect, either in the immediate or long-term, of the club's weekly match-winner Suarez being sold. "Absolutely not," said Werner. "He's a beautiful player to watch and, as a Liverpool fan, I hope I'm watching him for many years to come. We made a long-term contract with him and we are going to see a lot of his play at Liverpool."

Every time Werner or principal owner John Henry venture across the Atlantic, one imagines them in their fire-fighting costume, arriving at the Shankly Gates and asking stewards for the directions to the latest inferno that needs extinguishing. The blaze of publicity surrounding Suarez's future is not of their making, but it does no harm to occasionally offer public assurance in the face of the more scurrilous rumours that FSG would cash in for the right price.

Liverpool supporters have been in the market for more promise and less 'under delivery' over the last few months - particularly on the issue of player recruitment - and FSG are in territory where the goodwill for not being Tom Hicks and George Gillett has somewhat run its course.

Despite the win here, the need for Liverpool to buy rather than sell in January is apparent. Werner robustly confirmed Liverpool's plans.

"Our intention is to strengthen, but actions will speak louder than words," he said. "We are playing better and better each week. We have made some mistakes in the past but our intention is to deliver, strengthen the squad and move forward. We know January is a challenging time and I don't want to say we've got x or y but, hopefully, the fans will be pleased with what we do accomplish."

As a Los Angeles television and film producer, Werner can watch Suarez and appreciate the box-office appeal of a charismatic leading man. He must be tempted to ask the club's marketing department to add a 'double O' in front of Suarez's No??7. The Uruguayan is the man with the golden touch, granted a licence to thrill, consistently intervening to prevent Liverpool's sky falling in.

Suarez's double, Raheem Sterling's excellent second half and Jose Enrique's reinvention as a goalscoring left winger extended an unbeaten streak in the league to seven. Sterling, who created two of the goals, also has admirers hoping to demolish Liverpool's reputation as a club who can fulfil the ambitions of their best players. "Raheem is in a real good place here," said manager Brendan Rodgers. "He will tie down himself to a new contract because he wants to be here and he can be a great here."

It was against Wigan last season Sterling made his debut, a late substitute in a defeat that assisted Kenny Dalglish's demise and earned Roberto Martinez a Liverpool job interview. "I can see huge, huge progress," said Martinez. "When we saw him that day a year ago, you could see the real potential."

Wigan fancied their chances of a repeat victory at half-time, but Jean Beausejour's poor pass enabled Sterling to feed Suarez on 47 minutes and it could have been a rout afterwards. Martinez's mood darkened when he discovered Ben Watson suffered a broken leg after colliding with Sterling in the first half. There was no blame attached to the Liverpool youngster, who later apologised.

In the end it was a comfortable home victory, Werner able to return to the United States to prepare for the next, inevitable bout of fire-fighting when the transfer window opens.

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