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Thursday 21 August 2014

Brendan Rodgers calls for his players to find "solutions" when teams park the bus

Carl Markham

Published 03/05/2014 | 13:20

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his players will take the defeat on the chin
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes it is up to his players to find solutions to what will become an increasingly regular problem - frustration.

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Last Sunday's defeat at home to Chelsea saw Jose Mourinho employ a blanket defence to deny the Reds their usual attacking thrust and in chasing the game at 1-0 down the side lost their composure in the final quarter.

The players diverted from the game plan and started shooting from range and throwing hopeful crosses into the box in an attempt to break down resolute opponents.

Both teams' tactics have been dissected over the last seven days and Rodgers has done plenty of assessment himself over what they could improve on.

"I have analysed the game once or twice," said the Northern Irishman.

"The job for me this week was to help the players find the solutions in those type of games.

"We have shown over the course of the season we can play in many different ways and our ability to score goals has been there.

"I analysed the game last week and I thought there were lots of parts of our game that were very good - but we needed to find to find solutions in the final third.

"If a team plays with six along the backline and three midfield players it is my job to find a solution - and that is something I've looked at this week.

"The crime is not losing the game, it is about finding solutions next time, and the players have responded brilliantly."

Liverpool are likely to face more of the same tactics ahead of Monday's trip to Selhurst Park to face a well-organised Crystal Palace.

However, fans should not expect a radical change of approach as Rodgers' motto is always to make Plan A better, instead of adopting Plan B.

"You are always going to get that criticism when you try to play and work and pass the ball, it is something I've had since I was a young coach," he said.

"What we did do was run out of patience in the (Chelsea) game and going forward - playing games in the Champions League next season - we are going to have more games like that.

"That is something we will look to improve on but it is something I believe is one of my strengths.

"I learn fairly quickly and the great thing about my players is they are also great learners.

"When they reflected they know we played well in a lot of the game but our patience ran out in the last 20 minutes - but that is natural when you play against top opponents who are in a Champions League semi-final with huge experience and players who are mobile and can cover the ground.

"We are not perfect, I have always said that, and this will help in our development.

"We had 73% possession but the focus for us is on the dangerous possession and in that final third we didn't have enough - and that is something we will work on.

"We had a good week to analyse and hopefully we will improve.

"I have read over time our methods have supposedly changed and we are a counter-attacking team - which is totally wrong as I think we have scored nine out of 96 goals on the counter-attack.

"We just have a way of winning and whatever it takes is what we will look to do."

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