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New Reds boss greatly appreciates effort of the Merseysiders fans to make 1,500 mile journey to Belarus to watch team beat FC Gomel in first competitive game of the season

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has penned a letter of thanks to the club's travelling fans who watched them beat FC Gomel in the Europa League on Thursday.

A small contingent of Reds fans made the 1,500 mile journey to Belarus to support their team in Rodgers' first competitive game as manager of the Merseysiders.

They were not to be disappointed as scorching strike from Stewart Downing gave Liverpool the win and the advantage in the tie with that crucial away goal.

Rodgers expressed his gratitude to the supporters and insisted their presence was not taken for granted and played a huge part in the victory.

He wrote: "I want to say a sincere thank you for making the effort to come to Gomel last night to support us in our first competitive match of the season.

16/1 Liverpool are 16/1 with bet365 to win the Europa League

"The players and I are fully aware of the trials and tribulations surrounding travel for games; in particular, the costs, the necessity for visas and the transportation issues involved with this trip, so we wanted to let you know that your efforts are greatly appreciated.

"It was a privilege to acknowledge your support on the evening at the ground, as we did following the full-time whistle, but I wanted to reiterate our thanks with this brief message.

"It was a special night for me personally and it was great to see you in the stadium and in great voice; you made me proud and you made the players proud. You are an integral part of this team."