Rodgers’ side return to the Potteries this Sunday just three months on from their 6-1 capitulation on the final day of the 2014-15 season, a loss which rounded off a dismal run-in for the five-time European Cup winners. New Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson recently revealed he is still haunted by the memories of the club’s heaviest reverse in 52 years, but they will get a chance to exact a measure of revenge in their first contest of the new campaign. Hughes acknowledges lightning is unlikely to strike twice when they host Rodgers’ new-look outfit again and believes the thrashing they administered will serve as motivation. “I don’t think there’s too many of us that feel what happened in that game will be repeated,” the Welshman said. “We’d like to think it would be but Liverpool will have a lot to say about it. “At the beginning of the season expectations are always high for everybody and no less so from a club the stature of Liverpool. “They’ll be wanting to address that, it was certainly a blot on their copybook. “I’ve heard their players talk about how they want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. The reverse of that is obviously we’ll have something to say about that as well. “We’re hoping for a positive start to what we hope is going to be a very successful season.” The jaw-dropping manner of Liverpool’s loss, coupled with Steven Gerrard’s departure, meant Stoke’s feat of finishing ninth with a best ever Premier League points tally was pushed down the list of events to emerge that afternoon. Press Association Hughes has presided over two ninth-placed finishes since arriving at the helm and now wants to take the next step by bringing European football back to the Britannia Stadium. The Potters played in the Europa League under Tony Pulis four seasons ago after reaching the FA Cup final and Hughes does not believe achieving qualification for a continental competition is beyond his current players. He added: ” We look to improve year on year, we’ve been able to do that and we want that to continue. “If we are able to continue in the same vein then that would bring Europe into view. We’re not frightened by that prospect. “This club had a great experience the last time we were in Europe. We’d like to replicate that if we can. “I’m of the view that if we keep progressing – and with the talent and ability we’ve been able to add to the group – I think we can go close.” Stoke boss Mark Hughes is braced for a Liverpool backlash at the Britannia Stadium as Brendan Rodgers’ men make an immediate return to the venue of one of their most embarrassing defeats.
Carol Faull, an external consultant, has been working with USC since August to evaluate the school’s current culture. (Long Le | Daily Trojan) More than 50 attendees learned about the experiences of the Dornsife community as reflected in the poll. “I look toward the data that’s telling me what’s happening for communities that are marginalized,” Freeman said. “There’s opportunities to really understand [what] members within the gender categories are experiencing not only in their immediate environment but at USC as a whole.” Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences administrators emphasized Thursday the importance of the sessions the will hold to discuss needed changes to USC culture at the third of eight town hall. Findings of personal values, current culture values and desired culture values by faculty, staff and students were discussed following the release of results from the USC Values Poll administered last Fall. “It’s not that we have a list of 100 things to chase,” Faull said. “If we solely focused on those top five, we would have some really rich conversations and be able to shape the core unifying values that will take this university forward, as well as how we define that.” “We heard in the past that for surveys that had been conducted … people never heard the results,” Faull said. “So we were committed through the working groups to transparency.” Discussion sessions to talk about the poll and its results will be held over the coming weeks with separate sessions for students, faculty and staff. The goal of the sessions is to collectively redefine the values of the University, according to Freeman. The poll was administered to find out what the USC community wanted to improve regarding the University’s culture. With approximately 20,000 participants across staff, faculty and students, the poll garnered a 27.4% participation rate. Specifically for Dornsife, there was a 24% participation rate. Freeman said releasing the poll’s results and gaining knowledge of community values was essential to Dornsife’s mission as a liberal arts college that centers its research around values. According to the USC Values Poll, the University’s current cultural entropy, which represents the amount of energy consumed in unproductive work, is 28%. From this assessment, USC is categorized as facing “significant issues,” which means there are issues that require attention and systems that need exploration. “We have world-class research in social sciences and natural sciences and humanities and so we create a lot of the content that eventually shows up in this kind of work around values,” Freeman said. “So I see an alignment with what we fundamentally do as a liberal arts college.” Faull said results showed that five of the top 10 values that were selected for desired culture, including communication, ethical and transparency, were shared by staff, faculty and students, serving as a starting point for conversations and deciding values the University wants to build. Carol Faull, a senior consultant with 1-degree, has been working with USC since August to identify the current experience, build the aspired culture and train USC facilitators. Faull said the company wanted to increase transparency by sharing results in a town hall format, both at the University and individual college level. “It’s not intended to be a destination, it’s a journey,” Freeman said. “So I think we need to remind people that we are just beginning.” Kimberly Freeman, the associate dean and chief diversity officer at Dornsife, said the results of the poll would help identify the key areas that the school needs to improve on and help in bringing the right support to different communities on campus. The University’s Culture Journey is in partnership with 1-degree, an experienced Barrett Values Centre that created the poll and helps organizations build and sustain values-driven culture. The process consists of the poll, reportings through Town Hall meetings and discussion sessions.
The Colts selected former Trojan receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round of the NFL Draft Friday. (Sarah Ko / Daily Trojan) Pittman was the eighth wide receiver selected in this year’s draft. He doesn’t profile as one of the faster receivers in his draft class — he ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine — but he has been lauded by scouts and draft analysts for his hands, size and ability to make contested catches downfield. Scouts also view Pittman as a potential special teams contributor, a role which he occasionally played during his college career. Pittman is the 511th Trojan of all time to be drafted into the NFL, the most of any school in the nation. Pittman will be the newest target for potential Hall of Fame quarterback Philip Rivers, who signed with the Colts this offseason after a lengthy career with the Los Angeles (formerly San Diego) Chargers. “I just couldn’t be more happy that I get to start with a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Pittman said of Rivers. The Colts finished with a 7-9 record last season, third place in the AFC South, following the surprising retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck just a couple weeks before the season’s start. Pittman will look to help add to an Indianapolis offense that finished with the eighth-fewest total yards per game and the third-fewest passing yards per game last season. However, the Colts finished with 22.6 points per game last year, 16th in the NFL. Michael Pittman Jr. became the latest Trojan to join the NFL fraternity when the Indianapolis Colts selected the wide receiver with the 34th overall pick in the NFL Draft Friday. In 2019, Pittman proved himself to be one of the best receivers in the nation, finishing fourth in receptions and 10th in receiving yards en route to a nomination as a Biletnikoff Award finalist. He started all 13 games for the Trojans and was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and AP All-American Second Team. “I am super excited to be a Colt,” Pittman said in a video posted to the Colts’ Twitter. “Let’s bring the juice.” “I was almost certain that I was gonna be a Colt today,” Pittman said. “You see the blue shirt? … Just based on the conversations that we had. I felt like we had a good connection and I just felt like it was the right fit … I think that they brought me in to impact right now.” Pittman also won the 2019 Pop Warner College Award, given to a senior who made an impact on the field, in the classroom and in the community. A team captain for USC, Pittman won USC’s MVP, Community Service Award and Lifters Award. “I feel like I try to be diverse in what I can do,” Pittman said. “I feel like I use my hands well. Being a bigger guy, people expect me to be physical and strong. So I have that, but I can also do all of the stuff that all of the smaller guys can.”