Brendan Rodgers hopes a positive result against Carlisle United in the League Cup on Wednesday can serve as a much-needed confidence boost for his stuttering Liverpool side.
Rodgers saw Liverpool’s mixed start to the Premier League season continue with a 1-1 draw against Norwich City at Anfield on Sunday.
While the return of Daniel Sturridge and a first goal for Danny Ings pleased the Northern Irishman, the hosts were again left frustrated as Russell Martin claimed a share of the points.
Despite being winless in five matches in all competitions, Liverpool will be expected to ease past League Two side Carlisle at Anfield and into round four of the League Cup.
And Rodgers said after the Norwich game: “I think [three consecutive home games] is a positive for us. We knew we had four games here to get our performance level to where we want it to be.
“There’s a big history here at Anfield but embrace it and ensure you take the risk. You have to risk and you have to play positive football.
“I think [confidence] will grow with results. If you’re winning games and your football’s flowing then of course your confidence is going to be at a far higher level than what it might be now.
“We just have to build that confidence through our training, through the games, and it’s just step-by-step, getting to the next game and hopefully a good performance and keep getting results.
“It’s difficult because we want to be better in terms of results, we’re obviously losing key players, players coming back, new players coming in looking to get into the philosophy and the way of working here – and there’s no respite, it’s game after game.
“I’m sure if [the [players] continue to work as they have been on a daily basis, they’ll get their rewards. Hard work pays off and it’s just going to be a matter of time until they can get the results to be rewarded by that.”
Keith Curle’s Carlisle also tasted frustration at the weekend – surrendering a two-goal lead to draw with 10-man York City at Bootham Crescent.
The fourth-tier side ensured a trip to Anfield courtesy of a surprise 2-1 victory over Championship outfit QPR as Derek Asamoah and Jason Kennedy ensured progression at Loftus Road.
Experienced forward Asamoah was rested for the trip to York “to get his tank full” for Anfield, according to Curle, while Newcastle United loanee Alex Gilliead could feature again in midweek after an impressive debut on Saturday.