Brendan Rodgers has called for some perspective on Liverpool’s start to the season ahead of the Merseyside derby with Everton on Sunday.
Rodgers’ side have only won twice in all competitions since their back-to-back defeats to West Ham and Manchester United, with one of those victories coming via a penalty shootout against Carlisle United.
Anfield fans subjected the team to further boos on Thursday as Swiss side Sion held the Reds to a 1-1 draw in the Europa League group stage, a result which has left Liverpool with just two points from their first two games.
Speculation over Rodgers’ future at the club has intensified in recent weeks but, with Liverpool only two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal after seven Premier League games, the former Swansea City boss has given a tongue-in-cheek assessment of the campaign so far.
“It’s about perspective. It’s still very early. We’re a couple of points off where we want to be, five points off the top with a lot of improvement left to come,” he said on Friday.
“Everton have done well. They are a point ahead of us. They’ve had a good start and we’ve had a disaster!
“In the first couple of years, we did well. Over the last 12 months, we have had to manage change and disruption within the squad.
“Whenever you win games, that’s the key. When you lose, there’s disappointment. My worry and ambition is always the success of the club. I’ve always been clear that as manager you will always have critics, and sometimes the level of that increases. I also know there’s a lot of great support out there, which wants the team to do well.
“The supporters watched the [Sion] game and will be disappointed we didn’t take the chances. They want to win as much as we want to win. There’s frustration there, but we have to take that on the chin.
“When you lose games at a club like this, the investigation is very deep and the analysis is huge. But that’s part of it.
“We should be sat here having won 4-1 against Sion, and everyone talking about our young players but you have to take your chances.
“We had seven clear cut chances last night, and we got punished for one defensive mistake. We need to improve that. But we go into the [Everton] game with confidence.”
Rodgers stressed he has not asked the club hierarchy for any public backing over his position despite rumours linking Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti with the job.
“I don’t seek reassurances. I love the club, I enjoy being here and the challenge of improving and developing,” he said.
“It’s a long season, and it’s still very early. We still have some outstanding players to come back in. Once we have them, we’ll be in a position to challenge.
“Every game here is the same. There’s no less pressure or no more pressure. We’ve drawn games this season which we should have won, but we’re a couple of points off the top four.
“We’re still very calm, myself and the players, we’re enjoying our work.”