Rodgers demands reaction from Reds
Published 29/01/2013 | 17:00
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has no doubt his team will react in the right way to their FA Cup nightmare when they meet Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League on Wednesday night.
The Reds are back in action three days after their surprise 3-2 defeat to npower League One strugglers Oldham in the fourth round. The result was even more disappointing considering Liverpool have been in decent form following their shaky start to the season, winning eight of their previous 11 games.
But Rodgers is confident there will be no cup hangover, saying: "It's quite easy (to move on). It's one of the things you have to be able to do in modern football, and especially at a club like this."
He added: "However, disappointing the cup was, we'll get a reaction on Wednesday. Just seeing the players, the small group we had working (on Monday morning), they had a real focus and concentration.
"That hurts, and I'm glad it does, because that shows that they care. We'll enter the game with even greater motivation to win. We've seen over the last few weeks the quality in the group so we mustn't forget that as well, however disappointing Sunday was.
"We must really focus in on the game on Wednesday, it's an opportunity against a good opponent but an opponent that's around about us in terms of points so we have to go there with the confidence and focus that we've shown in the league of late. And if we do that we'll have a great chance of getting a good result."
Liverpool would join Arsenal on 37 points with victory at the Emirates, a ground where they picked up three points last season. The Reds will take extra motivation from the result of the reverse at Anfield earlier this season, when Arsenal outplayed their hosts and came away with a 2-0 victory.
Playmaker Santi Cazorla was particularly impressive that day, and Rodgers said: "They've got some wonderfully talented players, and Cazorla's come in and done terrifically well in his first season.
"The game at Anfield was probably as poor as we've been. There were a number of reasons behind that. Psychologically we weren't in a good moment, and rightly so we lost the game.
"But this is a chance to put it right. We'll need to make sure everyone's fighting, everyone's together, and I'm sure we will be. We need to do better against the teams that are in the top half, there's no denying that."