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Sunday 31 August 2014

More to come from Reds - Rodgers

Published 06/10/2013 | 07:46

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Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool can improve

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised strikers Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez but his exacting standards meant he was not totally satisfied with their 3-1 win at home to Crystal Palace.

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The pair both scored within the opening 17 minutes before Steven Gerrard netted his 99th Premier League goal with a penalty before half-time.

Palace improved after the break and notched through Dwight Gayle and, while there was no danger of the visitors preventing the Reds returning to the top of the table, Rodgers felt there was plenty still to work on.

"The two boys up front are as good as any in the league, so you know you're always going to be in with a chance with them," he said.

"There are not many better at combining. You can see the link-up that they have already. It was a really good performance by those two.

"They give you a real thrust and a real edge. If we're away from home and sometimes under the cosh, we counter-attack because we've got that pace and people willing to join in. It can be a real threat.

"If teams sit off and drop in that bit deeper, those are guys that are really clever in and around the box and can get goals.

"They were outstanding. Those two occupy a back four on their own because of their movement and cleverness.

"When they get other players around them, they're a real threat. You saw the telepathic nature they have to play with each other.

"For the team, it really bodes well for us going forward."

Further behind his strike pair, however, there were issues the Reds boss feels need addressing.

"I'm not the type of coach who only wants to win," he added.

"I worry about how the team plays and how we can control a game.

"In the final third of the pitch, it was hard to argue with the fact that we were outstanding - the movement, the combination play to arrive in there.

"But we've still got a lot of work to do behind that because the lack of control in the game was disappointing.

"Second half was nowhere near what we want it to be, but without playing great, we won the game and that was something that in the first season (of his reign) we were guilty of - playing ever so well but not getting the result."

Palace boss Ian Holloway felt their 3-0 half-time deficit was harsh, especially as he disputed the penalty awarded after Dean Moxey was adjudged to have pulled back Raheem Sterling.

"Having watched it again, I'm pretty upset. I thought he's made a mistake there," he said.

"Unfortunately, we are being punished for any singular mistake we make.

"Shape-wise we got it wrong for the first goal - I didn't want to leave three up, I wanted one of my front three to work back but we got that slightly wrong.

"The second goal was self-inflicted. I didn't think my centre-half (Adrian Mariappa) should have tried to win that (a challenge with Suarez which allowed Sturridge to run free).

"But that was probably our best spell. We had a couple of chances and unfortunately if you don't take them at this level it can be pretty unforgiving.

"It is not good enough but I didn't think we deserved to be 3-0 down on the balance of overall play.

"You have to keep trying and keep going and digging in.

"I thought the character in the second half was terrific but when you are 3-0 down you can relax and play a little bit and maybe Liverpool took their foot off the gas.

"But we actually won the second half and there was enough fidgeting by Brendan next to me."

Press Association

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