Rodgers: Players lack confidence


Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Brendan Rodgers admitted his Liverpool side are lacking in confidence as he saw them lose 3-1 at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Liverpool looked like halting a run of three straight defeats when Rickie Lambert broke his duck for the Reds by tucking home a perfect Adam Lallana pass inside the opening two minutes.

With Mario Balotelli sidelined with a groin injury, fellow summer signing Lambert was handed just his second Premier League start and did not take long to take advantage of his chance.

But that was as good as it got for Rodgers’ side as Dwight Gayle – who scored twice in the memorable 3-3 draw here last season – levelled after man of the match Yannick Bolasie saw a driven effort come back off the post.

The second half started slowly but two goals in a three-minute period were enough to seal a well-deserved and much-needed win for the Eagles and Yannick supplied Joe Ledley to put the hosts ahead before skipper Mile Jedinak bent home a 30-yard free-kick to seal a 3-1 win.

The defeat leaves Liverpool 18 points adrift of pace-setters Chelsea and just two ahead of Palace, and Rodgers conceded heads have dropped in his squad following a poor spell.

“It was bitterly disappointing,” he said of the performance.

“You’ve seen a team low on confidence today. Not quite together as a team. We need to find a solution very quickly because it was very disappointing.

“I put the team out there, the best team to win us the game. We made a good start. You could see our passing was a wee bit tentative and then we make mistakes. Mistakes you wouldn’t expect to see at a team that’s supposed to be challenging.

“Overall, that intensity and togetherness in our game isn’t there. When you don’t get the results, that affects you. That leads to (damaged) confidence. We have to work harder but we go away bitterly disappointed with the result. At this moment, we’re just not good enough.”

The draw here last season was ultimately damaging to Liverpool’s title tilt as Palace struck three times in 11 minutes to snatch an unlikely result.

Luis Suarez was left in tears on the pitch following that game and since his departure the Reds have struggled for the type of form which turned them into challengers.

Rodgers invested the money received for Suarez into his squad and now wants to see more from them, insisting he knows results must improve if he is to avoid facing questions about his future.

“I’m not arrogant enough to think that I will be in a job through anything,” he added.

“Any manager will tell you that you have to win games and you have to get results, especially after how we’ve been developing as a football club.

“But I have a great communication line with the owners. We’ve been honest enough with each other, but ultimately you have to get results. You have to perform.

“There’s no doubt as a manager you have to get results. That will support the confidence to the owners and you take it from there.

“I will only ever do my best. The best has seen us develop well. Now I need to fight even harder and take the responsibility, because as manager full responsibility comes down to me. Any pressure comes on to me.

“We’ve brought in very good players. Some of them are very young and are not going to be ready for a few years, but they’re in now. We have to do better in our performance level.”

Palace boss Neil Warnock was starting to feel the beginnings of some pressure on his position as he went into the game without a win since a September victory over Leicester.

But the 65-year-old felt the performance from his side would have troubled any Premier League defence as the win takes them back out of the relegation zone and up to 15th.

“The goal could have knocked the stuffing out of us, really,” he said.

“We said we wanted to play but got caught by a simple goal. You can score too early sometimes. But the way we played, constructed not kick and rush, we created some good chances. I’m disappointed we didn’t score more.

“I think we’d have done that to most teams today. That’s just this league in general. If you take anyone lightly, you can get turned over.

“We can cause any team in the league problems if we play. We need to sort out clean sheets. Julian didn’t have too much to do today but we conceded early doors again. One long ball and we ball-watched and were punished. I’d love to get some clean sheets on board.”

Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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