Monday, July 24, 2017

No loss of belief at Liverpool, insists Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers rejected suggestions Liverpool are suffering a crisis of confidence after they were held to a 0-0 draw at West Brom on Saturday.

Defeat in the FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa at Wembley last weekend ended Liverpool’s hopes of claiming silverware this season and Rodgers’ men saw their faltering bid to claim a top-four finish in the Premier League suffer another setback as they failed to capitalise on their superiority at The Hawthorns.

After the game, Rodgers repeated a desire to bring in attacking reinforcements at the end of the campaign, but denied there had been a loss of belief within a squad who finished as runners-up to Manchester City in the title race last season.

“I think we just don’t score as many goals [as last season]. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

“The players are giving the same effort, the same attitude, the skills they are transferring from last year are the same. We had two players last year, who played in our front three [Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge], who between them brought 50-plus goals and we don’t have that.

“But as a team, the players are giving absolutely everything. There were some real good bits of play, it’s just that final little piece.

“It’s an area that we’ll look at in the summer and definitely one that we’ll have to do some work on, but I give credit to the players because they came out today after a difficult result and performance last week and they showed great confidence.

“We defended well when we had to and we attacked with all the invention and creativity that we possibly could, but we just couldn’t get that little bit of luck that we needed.”

Elaborating on Liverpool’s failure to break down a West Brom side that showed resilience throughout, Rodgers added: “I thought the level of our game, in particular in the second half, was very good and our intent in the game was obviously to win and you could see that.

“We just needed a little break. West Brom obviously defended very, very well. They played with a really low block, so you’ve got to be patient and work your way through and I thought in particular [in the] second half we did that very well.

“[In the] first half the idea was good but we were probably just a little bit slow in our play. But [the] second half was much better and we needed that little bit of luck or quality, which didn’t come our way.

“The players that were playing showed terrific quality. It was a good response [to the Villa defeat], but we just couldn’t quite make the breakthrough.”

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